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Open mike 02/05/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 2nd, 2022 - 135 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 …

135 comments on “Open mike 02/05/2022 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    So we have a new crisis:

    in just 18 years parts of the capital will see 30cm of sea level rise, causing once-in-a-century flood damage every year.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/466262/sea-levels-rising-twice-as-fast-as-thought-in-new-zealand

    Could be an entire new ministry will be required to build sea-walls?

    Naish said vulnerable places in Auckland included the waterfront around the bays, Tamaki Drive, the Viaduct, areas around the Northwestern Motorway at Point Chevalier, St Heliers and Mission Bay.

    He said many of these places already have issues during king tides, are close to sea level, and are sinking.

    At the Viaduct the land is sinking about about 2.5mm a year. "That almost doubles the rate of expected sea-level rise and halves the time you have. The city council, [and] the port authority are all going to have to start looking closely in terms of their future activities at this new information."

    He said in many parts of Auckland the sea-level would rise 30 to 50 percent faster than what was previously thought.

    The switch is due to discovery of land dropping. The scientists have mapped it nationwide and provided an interactive website so you can check out how it affects your neighbourhood.

    NZ SeaRise's online tool showing how your home could be affected will be available here from 5am, Monday 2 May. The entire coastline has been mapped down to a 2km spacing.

    The new advice combines data about where land is sinking with the latest international sea-level rise projections. It will be an major new tool for councils, businesses and homeowners to assess risk from erosion and floods… The information is timely, coming hot on the heels of the climate change draft adaptation plan released last week. It asks for public input on the plans, and on so-called ''managed retreat'" – abandoning areas where it is not possible or financially viable to live any longer.

    First consideration is if councils can cope with providing new defensive infrastructure. If not, how does the govt do the job – within the ministry of climate change or the ministry of transport?

    • Ad 1.1

      Tamaki Drive got rebuilt with an 80cm lift last year.

      State Highway 17 to Auckland's west was pushed up over a metre after the SH20 tunnels were built.

      SH1 Kaikoura was lifted and rebuilt together with the earthquake rebuild.

      Mission Bay has a pretty good seawall already.

      Wellington rail and Lower Hutt have massive rebuilds underway.

      The places I would focus on would be:

      – Awanui, Taipa and Kaeo in the far north

      – State highway from Haast to Fox Glacier

      – Westport. Looking forward to the West Coast Regional Chairman Allan Birchfield telling Westport not to worry. Again.

      West Coast councillor continues denying sea level rise | RNZ News

      – Eastborne and Days Bay in Wellington

      – Christchurch estuary settlements

      – Hauraki Plains including Thames and Paeroa

      – Invercargill east and south including airport

    • Blade 1.2

      As Ashley Bloomfield's star fades, new messiahs arise with missionary zeal. I don't think I will be buying their T-Shirts.

      In the clip below, Napier Airport was given as an example of land sinking . Of course, Napier Airport is build on land pushed up by an earthquake.

      Richard Levy and Tim Naish have done what seems like excellent research followed by predictions based on that research. All that's needed now is for nature to follow those linear time lines they have set out.

      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2022/05/alarming-new-statistics-reveal-new-zealand-s-sea-level-could-rise-30cm-in-next-10-to-20-years.html

      • Dennis Frank 1.2.1

        All that's needed now is for nature to follow those linear time lines they have set out.

        Normally humans survive by reacting to a threat to their survival. Are you trying to suggest Nats are sub-human? If so, spit the dummy & say so. If not, tell us why they ought to do nothing except wait for nature to produce disaster.

        Oh wait, you mean the Nats would actually do politics on the basis of science instead of ignoring it? They just need a little time to digest the science? Fair enough. Not everyone's a fast learner.

        • Blade 1.2.1.1

          ''Normally humans survive by reacting to a threat to their survival.''

          Correct. If you come towards me in a threatening manner I straight away compensate with a remedial defensive action.

          ''Are you trying to suggest Nats are sub-human? If so, spit the dummy & say so.''

          I don't know what that means because I don't care one iota what National think, or don't, about climate change. I doubt they have a clue themselves.

          ''If not, tell us why they ought to do nothing except wait for nature to produce disaster.''

          It's not a matter of doing nothing. It's about a gamble costing billions either way. Are we prepared to accept that on research that is yet to be peer reviewed. Or are we prepared to sit tight and hope for the best? Play the cards.

          You seem to have forgotten our dire economic situation thanks to Labour's largesse for all squeaky wheels and ideological itches.

      • Anne 1.2.2

        "As Ashley Bloomfield's star fades, new messiahs arise with missionary zeal."

        Uncalled for. Inferring Bloomfield was some crazy who set himself up as a messiah but no-one listens to him anymore? He happened to be Director General of Health when Covid arrived and it was his job to lead the health response to the pandemic in NZ.

        You're a dork Blade.

        • Red Blooded One 1.2.2.1

          Thank you Anne, the petty bitterness is strong in the likes of Blade and a few others here. Relentlessly negative and relentlessly boring.

        • Blade 1.2.2.2

          It was more a statement about hero worship. We in New Zealand have a dearth of glitzy stars to idolise. Therefore we tend to admire the more mundane. Ruud Kleinpaste, the bug man, for example.

          ''He happened to be Director General of Health when Covid arrived and it was his job to lead the health response to the pandemic in NZ.''

          Exactly – it was his job.

          But he morphed into something larger with his regular appearances on the ''Pulpit Of Truth.'' Adulation and t-shirts followed.

          I'm betting Richard Levy and Tim Naish are about to become media darlings. Their word will be gospel, and God help any fuckwit who says otherwise.

          ''You're a dork Blade.''

          That's unkind. But, in my opinion, you have always come across as a shallow thinker.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 1.2.3

        I don't think I will be buying their T-Shirts.

        I see "ferals" – How often do you see them? – All the time. They're everywhere.

    • RosieLee 2.1

      Sounds like a recipe for more committees, consultants, advisors, meetings and lots of tick box exercises. Yep, that'll do it.

      • Blade 2.1.1

        You forgot the waste of taxpayer money. Truancy has nothing to do with school attendance… it has more to do with cultural values. And in Maoridom, education isn't a high priority with many. Mana on the rugby field and in a fight rate very high.

        From Jester’s link:

        ''The package also included $11.2m for a positive behaviour and learning programme and $7.75m specifically for Māori and Pasifika communities, where there are large discrepancies.''

        [You are in Pre-Moderation until you correct the following statement or provide links to support it:

        And in Maoridom, education isn’t a high priority with many. Mana on the rugby field and in a fight rate very high.

        You have one shot at it, to avoid numerous time-wasting comments going to & from, and one day – Incognito]

        • RosieLee 2.1.1.1

          "Mana on the rugby field and in a fight rate very high."

          Untrue and offensive.

          • Blazer 2.1.1.1.1

            As bizzare as it is.

            Mere opinion?

            • Incognito 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Even a ‘mere opinion’ doesn’t come out of the blue and stands alone in isolation in a referential vacuum without some framework to form and sustain (aka confirm) it.

        • Incognito 2.1.1.2

          Mod note

        • Nic the NZer 2.1.1.3

          Blade doesn't shy away from a challenge so he's never going to walk that back. I'm expecting genetic evidence and a full history of the heritage of the infamous Rugby gene will be forthcoming.

          • Puckish Rogue 2.1.1.3.1

            He's not completely wrong, especially with the added "with many" bit

            Gangs especially respect sports prowess, size and violence and education can be seen as a negative "you think you're smart don't you"

            Unfortunately the media being what it is it'll glorify the gangs and ignore those with their heads down getting on with it

            • Nic the NZer 2.1.1.3.1.1

              Your thinking of having a go at the pre-mod challenge too?

              • RedLogix

                Yes PR would be on much safer ground just sticking to telling us how racist white people are.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Can be difficult to know when you’re on “safer ground” – is nothing sacred?

                  Racism starts small. Sometimes it lives in everyday actions and comments that we laugh off, nod in agreement to, excuse, and therefore accept. But we don’t have to. We can stop casual racism from growing into something more extreme. We can give it no encouragement. No respect. No place. No power. We can give it nothing. http://www.givenothing.co.nz

                  • RedLogix

                    See – very safe ground. No pre-mod for the uber woke.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      No pre-mod for the uber woke.

                      Yep, doubt Taika will be cancelled anytime soon. He can read a room.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Taika needs to stop doing doing Marvel movies, stop hiring Tessa Thompson (although I guess there are other reasons) and more movies like Jojo or What We Do In The Shadows etc

                • Puckish Rogue

                  I think a clip from a popular Tony Award winning, Broadway and West End play might just be applicable to this situation:

                  • RedLogix

                    All humans have to some extent with an in-group preference. It expresses itself in sexual selection and family bonding. It would be a very strange thing indeed if we did not have an unconscious bias toward people we feel genetically and culturally connected with.

                    This selectivity and tribalism is an exceedingly common behaviour across almost all of the higher mammals I can immediately think of. It should be no surprise or even controversial that humans share this trait as well.

                    But remarkably we also have the capacity to overlay this trait with a broader abstraction around the universality of humanity. We can take the idea that all humans stand equal before their Maker and expand our ethical horizon to ultimately include all 7.5b people on the planet. We can formulate intellectually the idea that 'the earth is but one planet and mankind its citizens'. This is the root motivation that demands we condemn the wrong idea that some human races are genetically superior to others. Racism was founded in a mistaken interpretation of why some cultures and societies came to dominate while others were overrun all throughout history. We now should understand that it had nothing to do with genetics and almost everything with technology and institutional development.

                    But to then argue this means there is no difference between any of the cultures and societies is wrong as well. That is nothing more than an attempt to cancel out one stupid mistake with another. It is the reason why the woke left claims that all differences in outcomes can only be explained by racism. And if they cannot find any significant examples of personal racist anima, nor any institutional laws or policies to explain differences – then untestable concepts such as 'unconscious bias' and 'institutional racism' are trotted out to fill the gap.

                    Yet as I suggested above – all humans have an intrinsic unconscious bias, yet invoking this explains everything and nothing at the same time. Nor does pointing to institutional bias explain much either, it would be very surprising if the dominant culture anywhere did not organise their public life to suit themselves. Why would they not? This is the very stuff of culture and diversity is it not?

                    Human diversity and selectivity is innate and instinctively enduring. We would not want it to be otherwise. But skin colour and the land of our birth are but accidents; they are the least important aspect of who we are and tell us nothing of our character, competency and potential for achievement.

                    Because our long, agonising history tells another far more inspiring story of how we have learned to expand our moral horizons painfully and progressively, embracing ever larger groups of peoples and cultures – culminating now in a universal recognition of our common humanity, dignity and right to justice.

                    And for me that is a battle worth having – against those who would divide us yet again.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Agreed.

                      I have absolutely no problem saying Western Democratic cultures are superior to anything else we have and we all know it yet, to some, thats borderline, if not outright, racist

                    • One of the most interesting papers I did at Uni was a paper on Social Psychology where that sort of stuff was covered.

                      Ingroup and outgroup biases and the like. In short, it is nearly impossible for any of us not to have some degree of bias or prejudice, whether that be conscious or unconscious bias.

                      The best way to break down those prejudices is by setting superordinate goals that require groups to work together to solve the issues.

                      I guess a great example would be the situation in Ukraine. Prior to the war there would likely have been lots of divisions over all sorts of matters. But when they are all focusing on the goal of defeating the Russians those sort of divisions are forgotten and people are united behind the common cause.

                • Nic the NZer

                  I didn't think his range was up to re-inventing the racist prison guard trope just yet. I will have to defer to your faith in his abilities of course.

            • Incognito 2.1.1.3.1.2

              Propaganda and fake news usually also contain snippets of truth, so not being “completely wrong” doesn’t make it/him right either – it’s a nonsensical thing to say. The assertion was about Māoridom, not about gangs. So, perhaps I should ask you to explain why you put up this diversion.

              • Blade

                Have you received my reply with the information and links I provided?

              • Puckish Rogue

                If you want to ask me a question ask it

                • Incognito

                  I did, but you didn't listen because you didn't want to hear it because you don't want to answer it. Did you really think it was a rhetorical question? Perhaps you realise that you have enough rope to get tangled up in knots or worse. A commenter cannot force another commenter to answer, least of all to answer in a certain way, but a Mod can force some response if there are good grounds for this. You were and still are following the clear signpost to those grounds.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    'Did you really think it was a rhetorical question?'

                    Yes I did.

                    'So, perhaps I should ask you to explain why you put up this diversion.'

                    The perhaps makes what could have been a simple question into something ambiguous:

                    Perhaps you’ll ask me a question or perhaps not.

                    I thought you were just jumping in with your usual sort of subtlety, like your use of the Spanish Archer, which I first thought was some sort of obscure sexual position (like the reverse cowgirl)

                    Try this instead:

                    'So I'll ask you to explain why you put up this diversion.'

                    That makes basically the same question clear and unambiguous.

                    So to your question, my response was to Nic the NZers response to Blade.

                    I thought Nic was over the top in his reply so I replied to Nic with an example that I thought would further expand on Blades point.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      I thought my reply was over the top as well, until Blade decided to defend his comments.

                    • Incognito

                      The “perhaps” was intended to leave you with a clear choice: either put up or shut up. Maybe that was too subtle for you – I forgot I was dealing with a simpleton.

                      You decided to run interference with moderation, in which case you may be treated as such and end up in Pre-Moderation too, or you could simply stay out of it – the choice is yours, still, but not for much longer.

                      Unless you can read Blade’s mind or you are in communication with Brother Blade you were only adding your own reckons, which were not helpful in the slightest.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      'Maybe that was too subtle for you – I forgot I was dealing with a simpleton.'

                      Perhaps you're not as clever as you think you are, perhaps you jump into discussions when you don't need to and perhaps you feel a little inadequate since you're clearly not as experienced as the other moderators and so, perhaps, you feel you need to make up for it in other ways.

                      Have you tried asking the other moderators for advice?

                      I know when I've been over my head and out of my depth (like you are now) that asking for advice from other better, more experienced people can be a little hard on the ego but is generally always worth it in the long run.

                      [You’re now also in Pre-Moderation until you also have finished and completed Blade’s homework in your own words and with your own links – no cheating this time. Same terms and conditions apply as for Blade. Bye now – Incognito]

                    • Incognito []

                      Mod note

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Nope.

                      Not playing your silly game, no matter what I link to it won't be enough.

                      [As you wish; you’ve used enough rope to hang yourself out to dry for 3 weeks. Bye – Incognito]

                    • Incognito []

                      Mod note

            • Muttonbird 2.1.1.3.1.3

              Of course he's completely wrong. Blade claimed, "truancy has nothing to do with school attendance". But here is the definition of the word:

              truancy

              /ˈtruːənsi/

              noun

              1. the action of staying away from school without good reason; absenteeism.
              • Puckish Rogue

                I wasn't commenting on the truancy aspect

                • Muttonbird

                  Yes, you were commenting on the accuracy of the claim that education isn't a high priority for many Maori.

                  Perhaps your view of Maori has been affected by your professional life?

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    So what was the point of adding in the truancy if you knew what I posted wasn't about truancy?

                    • Muttonbird

                      I had to re-read that crap, unfortunately. Came to the same conclusion. The comment is completely wrong on all counts.

        • Blade 2.1.1.4

          l'm a Maori. I think that gives me some insight into myself and my fellow Maori.

          https://www.cambridgenews.nz/2019/09/alan-duffs-cambridge-conversation/

          Quote:

          “I also told the Minister that, with all due respect, teaching prison inmates Te Kāinga Maori will not lessen incarceration rates. They are not in prison because they lack Te Kāinga Maori, they are there because of bad parenting. The same applies to white people in jail … again that is largely due to bad parenting, a lack of education and a failure to instil values. That is what I want to get across.''

          https://teara.govt.nz/en/riri-traditional-maori-warfare/page-2

          Quote:

          ''Tribal groups might seek to fight others to increase tribal or personal mana.''

          ''Traditionally the mana or prestige of a tribe and its members was all important. Tribes and their rangatira could increase mana by triumphing over other tribal groups.''

          https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14442213.2016.1191530

          Quote:

          In Māori society rugby has come to be viewed as a platform to maintain an indigenous model of masculinity as well as one of the main sites for the achievement of prestige. National and international representations of the Māori man as a rugby player—a present-day version of the Māori warrior

          [You’ve got a bonus try for your effort, which fell way short.

          As a Māori you know that you do not and cannot speak for all Māoridom – with personal opinions one can only speak for oneself. You made a specific assertions, which you were asked to correct or support, and so far you’ve done much less than half of the task.

          I fail to see how Alan Duff’s quote of his personal views on teaching prison inmates Te Kāinga Māori supports your assertions about Māoridom. Ironically, the article starts with Duff’s “desire to use the written word to influence those behind bars to lead better lives”.

          Why do simpletons such as you and Puckish Rogue tend to use Māoridom, gangs & crime, and prison population almost synonymously? Are distinctions, nuances, and context too hard for you or are you keener on pushing a certain narrative?

          Similarly, the quote about traditional Māori warfare has little bearing on your assertions about present-day Māoridom.

          The special status conferred to Māori men playing rugby again doesn’t support your assertions about how Māoridom values and prioritises education.

          No more bonus tries after this one – Incognito]

          [You didn’t correct or support your assertions about Māoridom, as you were asked to do and I don’t want to waste anymore of my time on this. Take 10 days off and don’t pretend to be a spokesperson for or an expert on Māoridom when you get back because you’re clearly neither – Incognito]

          • Incognito 2.1.1.4.1

            Mod note

          • roblogic 2.1.1.4.2

            Every culture has its dark side and blind spots. But I think you’ll find that the dismal statistics for Maori also correlate with relative economic privilege. There is a reason for all the targeted government programmes — as a people they have been subjected to systematic violence by the colonial settler state, and while the rest of us sit around arguing on blogs & sipping cappuccinos, our wealth is based on massive theft from 17% of the population.

          • Incognito 2.1.1.4.3

            Mod note #2

    • Belladonna 2.2

      Hmm. It's difficult to tell exactly where the money is going – but it sounds like bureaucracy. I can't conceive that "$11.2m for a positive behaviour and learning programme" is going to achieve much.

      If there are behaviour issues (and, according to my teacher friends, these are order-of-magnitude more severe than pre-Covid), then schools need support to deal with these right now – not in 2 years time when the 'programme' has been designed.

      What schools actually need is the funding for additional classroom support for these kids – whether that looks like additional teachers in existing classrooms, or small group coaching, or even non-standard classes (if teens are working shelf-stacking [as quoted in the article], then perhaps concentrate on the key NCEA subjects when they're at school – and at least get them the core qualifications – you need NCEA L2 English and Maths for most apprenticeships).

      I don't see how developing a programme (which the schools won't have the funding to carry out) – is going to do anything except keep bureaucrats employed.

      • mpledger 2.2.1

        The PBL program has been around for ages. It was in my daughter's primary school and she's now 20. It's a whole school approach with incentives and rewards for positive behaviour – it does teach some kids to suck-up to the teachers though. With the new funding, it should be able to get into more schools.

      • Puckish Rogue 2.2.2

        It's like most anything a government does (regardless of who is in) and that's throw money at the situation

        At best it'll do something positive (rarely), usually no change will happen (but the government can say we've done something) and occasionally it'll make the problem even worse

        You're right in what would help the problem, targeted support to those that need it but it needs to start with the vulnerable families while the mother is pregnant not years later at school

        • Belladonna 2.2.2.1

          I agree with the earlier support — but it has to be AND ALSO rather than pick one or the other.

          Absent a time machine, we can't fix the early years of kids now at school. Yes, we need to intervene now to prevent the next tranche arriving with preventable issues – but we also need to work with the kids now in school (or missing from school) and put solutions to those issues in place.

          • Puckish Rogue 2.2.2.1.1

            Yeah sorry I wasn't too clear in what I meant.

            I mean you can and should do both but rather than have two different programs running concurrently there should be only one program starting before the child is born which older children can be entered into

            The more programs you run means more costs and more chances of kids falling through the cracks

      • Rosemary McDonald 2.2.3

        Goodness gracious me! This issue has been popping up to the surface every few years since before my offspring began school. Another study and another initiative and more targeted funding and 'special' funding for those groups with 'discrepancies'. And it only gets worse.

        How about we chuck all that aside and go and speak with the families living in overcrowded homes, juggling four or five jobs, living from hand to mouth and generally ticking all the 'most at risk' boxes but whose children are attending school and are succeeding?

        As always we focus on the causes of failures and not on how many families in similar circumstances make it work for their children.

        The first two drivers would be (if we asked them) that these parents realise education is the key to a more secure job and a better future, and these parents genuinely want their children to have a better life than than they had.

        • Molly 2.2.3.1

          "How about we chuck all that aside and go and speak with the families living in overcrowded homes, juggling four or five jobs, living from hand to mouth and generally ticking all the 'most at risk' boxes but whose children are attending school and are succeeding?"

          A suggestion that is based on existing solutions, and grassroots perspectives?

          Then what'll happen to all the consultants ready to advise?

          • Rosemary McDonald 2.2.3.1.1

            I'm not saying that they make up a significant number of the 60% absent…but could it be that some of those being counted as truant are actually being home schooled?

            More than 10,000 students in New Zealand are now learning from home, but there is growing concern their learning methods aren’t being scrutinised.

            But some want the reviews reinstated as applications for home schooling grow.

            There have been 5,000 new applications in the last year.

            Kaitaia Primary School’s Principal, Brendon Morrissey, says “that’s a big number.”

            It is quite possible that some parents do not realise you have to apply to home school and have simply pulled their kids out of mainstream education.

            A private Christian school in Mosgiel has quadrupled its roll by offering a mixed model of teaching where home schooled kids are offered 'distance support''.

            • Molly 2.2.3.1.1.1

              Homeschool reviews were initially reduced, and then eliminated because in terms of expense vs negative homeschool reviews, the ERO decided it was a budgetary save.

              Despite once being a committee member on a National Home Ed organisation, I only ever viewed Home Ed as another choice, as opposed to a universally better one. The approach of families and engagement of children are as diverse as the population. Quite a few with exemptions were not part of any group.

              My addition to your sensible suggestion re: truancy.

              Make the school experience better. Because if that doesn't change, all that's been achieved is returning a child to where they don't want to be.

              How's that help with encouraging a love of learning? Disruption in the classroom to indicate pushback, would be expected at the least.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                Make the school experience better.

                Okay, granted it was a different time…and technologywise might as well be a different universe…do you think that there might have been certain elements of the 'old' school environment that was more conducive to attending and engaging than today's?

                I heard today that a newish school in the Waikato, designed and built to encompass all the very latest in modern learning has removed practically all the non- fiction books from the Library. (Library is deliberately capitalised, as befitting it's importance.) The learners don't need all those dusty dog eared reference books… the world's knowledge is all there on Goggle and Wiki.

                Thing is, you ask Goggle or Wiki a specific question and voilla, the answer is delivered instantaneously. The old way, you'd wander down through the rows looking for the book about Space or Deserts and along the way be sidetracked by books about Ancient Civilizations or WWII.

                Maybe the Young People have been conditioned to expect everything to be delivered at the push of the enter key or the swipe of a screen. Even the littlies have their iPads. Attention spans are practically non- existent.

                Maybe I'm just old.

        • Ed1 2.2.3.2

          Many years ago there were Truancy Officers, and from memory for a period there were also Visiting Teachers (both in primary schools; secondary may have had somebody doing some work on truancy). The jobs overlapped to a certain extent; I think the Truancy Officers were eliminated first, then later the Visiting Teachers. Talking to those whose children are already attending would seem to be less important than talking to the parents of children that do not attend.

  2. tsmithfield 3

    Things going from bad to worse for the Keystone-cops Russian military in Ukraine.

    Now their General in charge of the war Gerasimov has been evacuated to Belgorod due to shrapnel injuries from a Ukrainian attack.

    According to this twitter thread there was a Ukrainian attack against a meeting of high ranking officers at a Russian command headquarters in the Russian-held area of Izyum in Ukraine. It appears that 20 may have been killed and up to 40 injured.

    Not only that, there was just another huge fire in Belgorod. Judging by all the secondary explosions, it looks like it was a weapons depot.

    According to this twitter thread and video, helicopters were circling the area 30 minutes prior to the explosion suggesting a VIP was about to arrive. Joining the dots, it seems likely that the Russians were securing the area waiting for Gerasimov to arrive.

    So, it looks like the poor guy would have had quite a greeting when he arrived to the sound of a massive explosion at an arms depot in the area.

    I guess we all have days like that sometimes….

    • Ad 3.1

      Here's a succinct look at how his famous Gerasimov Doctrine (all instruments of state deployed carefully and accurately to achieve victory) supports broader strategy within the Russian state:

      The Primakov (Not Gerasimov) Doctrine in Action – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

      Putin needs this guy alive.

      • tsmithfield 3.1.1

        Agreed. Not that I feel particularly sorry for him given his past form. Karma is a wonderful thing.

        But this horrendous attrition of their top leadership must be becoming very problematic for the Russian war effort. They tend to have a very top down military structure, and those in the lower-down ranks don't have much of a clue what to do.

        The Ukrainians must be getting some good intel on the whereabouts of senior officers in Ukraine.

        It could be the US intelligence service. Or maybe the Russians are still using unsecured communications despite all the trouble that has caused them so far. Or maybe it is the Russian military themselves feeding info back given that a lot of them don’t particularly like their senior officers and don’t particularly want to be there. Or it could be a combination of all the above.

        • Blazer 3.1.1.1

          Yes,the U.S commanders have alot more recent experience in conducting…war.

          How long can this war go on?

          Both the U.S and Russia seem so determined to….achieve their aims.

          • Dennis Frank 3.1.1.1.1

            How long can this war go on?

            For as long as it suits Xi, and not a smidgen longer. Xi can yank Putin's chain anytime. That he's been keeping quiet for so long tells us he likes what's happening. Not a threat to Belt & Road, apparently…

            • Blazer 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Interesting.

              The BRIC countries seem keen on alternatives to the dominance of the $U.S in international commerce,but China does hold alot of U.S paper.

              The strengthening of the U.S dollar is a two edged sword.

              If the status of the U.S dollar is undermined ,America loses its huge leverage over the rest of the world.

        • Ad 3.1.1.2

          It doesn't give me any sense of optimism for Ukraine though.

          • tsmithfield 3.1.1.2.1

            If it sets into a war of attrition that will favour Ukraine.

            Due to the sanctions, Russia is unable to replace a lot of their military equipment. On the other hand, Ukraine has heaps pouring in from the west.

            In a war of attrition, the advantage is to the side that can replace their losses. In this case, it looks very much like Ukraine.

            • Sanctuary 3.1.1.2.1.1

              The longer the war continues the more likely is Russia will win it. And there is no mechanism for reflection – or regime change – in the Putin regime.

              For example Valery Gerasimov was sent to the Ukraine by Putin last week, and was apparently wounded yesterday by a Ukrainian MLRS strike on the CP (Command Post) of Maj. Gen. Andrei Simonov who was killed in the attack. Siminov was the ninth Russian general to die in this war and was killed near the city of Izyum – the fulcrum of the supposed northern spear head of the Russian Donbas offensive.

              As an aside, Siminov was the senior officer commanding all Russia's electronic warfare units and the targeting information for this Ukrainian strike almost certainly came from an U.S. RC-135 "Rivet Joint" signals intelligence surveillance aircraft that has been operating over the Black Sea. Make what you will of how provocative that knowledge must be to the Russians.

              The fate of Gerasimov (the closest of Putin confidantes) – fall from favour, disappearance from public view, sent to the front to get things moving or find salvation in death on the battlefield – is in the finest of totalitarian traditions (the fact he was only wounded and has fled the front will have Field Marshal Paulus chuckling in his grave) and should tell us all we need to know about the ability of Russia to find a way out of this war that doesn't involve a bloody victory.

              • I don't agree.

                I think the longer it goes on, the more it favours the Ukrainians. That is because a long war becomes a war of attrition, and a war of attrition favours the side that can replace its losses.

                As mentioned in another post, the Russians are having major problems with replacing equipment at the moment. For instance, Russia is having major difficulties with tank production. And a lot of their equipment depends on imported parts which are affected by sanctions.

                Ukraine doesn't have this problem with the west committing to supply their military needs for as long as required. For instance, it looks like the US will be committing another $33 billion to Ukraine alone. Plus all the gear coming in from Britain and the rest of Europe.

                Most of this isn't even in the field yet. When the Ukrainians are trained on all that, and they are able to get it into the field imagine how much damage they will be able to do to the Russian army compared to what they are doing now. Even as it stands at the moment, Ukraine is giving the Russians a lot of trouble just using the equipment they have. And that is going to get progressively worse for the Russians.

                I think that is a reason the Russians attacked a lot earlier than they probably wanted to given the muddy conditions that is confining Russian forces to the road. Ideally, it would suit the Russian armour advantage to be on the open ground that is to their advantage in the Donbas. But that isn't really possible at the moment.

                There was the May 9th deadline from Putin. But I think also, the Russians probably rightly concluded that if they held off until conditions favoured them, the Ukrainians would have got a lot stronger by that time.

            • Cricklewood 3.1.1.2.1.2

              Excepting of course that Russia could choose deploy weapons that would essentially 'win' the war in a matter of minutes. The longer it drags out the closer we get to that outcome I suspect.

              • That would be the temptation. However, I believe that NATO have stated that their response to such action would be proportionate, though not not necessarily the same.

                So, for instance, NATO might bite the bullet and completely cut gas imports from Russia, which would completely deplete the Russian war effort nearly immediately.

                Also, even China might be compelled to condemn such an action, and may not want to be seen giving tacit support to such action.

                Also, Ukraine gave up its own nukes on the basis of a security guarantee from the US in case of nuclear attack.

                So, there is a bit for Russia to weigh up in deciding whether such action is worth the consequences.

    • Joe90 3.2

      Things going from bad to worse for the Keystone-cops Russian military in Ukraine

      Morale must be in the shitter.

      Our briefing this week sets out just how rotten the army has been. Russia’s defence budget, of over $250bn at purchasing power, is about three times that of Britain or France, but much of it is squandered or stolen. Mr Putin and his top commanders kept their invasion plans from senior officers, reflecting a crippling lack of trust. Disaffected troops, fed on out-of-date rations, have deserted their vehicles. Units have tortured, raped and murdered only to be honoured by the Kremlin. Russia has failed to win control of the skies or combine air power with tanks, artillery and infantry. Wallowing in corruption, unable to foster initiative or learn from their mistakes, its frustrated generals abandoned advanced military doctrine and fell back on flattening cities and terrorising civilians.

      https://archive.ph/JJYWh

      https://www.economist.com/leaders/2022/04/30/how-rotten-is-russias-army

      • tsmithfield 3.2.1

        And the Ukrainians still haven't got into service all the good stuff the west is sending so I understand.

        So, it looks like they are giving the Russians a hard time with the stuff they are using already. Doesn't bode well for the Russians once all the western heavy artillery etc gets into the field.

        • Blazer 3.2.1.1

          Yes the West is sending all the 'good stuff'….they will fight to the last Ukrainian.

          Russia has more to lose than just this….conflict.

          • tsmithfield 3.2.1.1.1

            All they are doing is backing the Ukrainian's own willingness to fight for their country. A bit different to Afghanistan that folded like a pack of cards when the Western military left, despite all the investment there in helping them become self-sufficient militarily.

            Seems more likely that Putin is fighting to the last Russian from what I can see. It reminds me of something from "The Walking Dead" where the Russian soldiers are like the zombies that keep coming and keep getting wiped out.

            Whether they are going to have enough to win by force of numbers with that strategy seems unlikely given that this is a "special military operation'', not a war, according to the Russians, which limits their ability to call up reservists or launch a major draft. Even if they did that, it is going to take a long time before those forces can be brought into the combat. Also, equipping new forces will be an issue for the Russians given the attrition of their equipment and the difficulties in them replacing it.

            So, the Russians are pretty much stuck with what they have got at the moment.

            On the other hand, the Ukrainians have no such constraints and are training up as many as possible for the fight.

            • Blazer 3.2.1.1.1.1

              Afghanistan lasted 20 years and cost $2trillion .

              Biden is asking Congress for another 33billion for the Ukraine.

              I do wonder if merkins think what good 33billion could do ,regarding all the homeless people in U.S cities.

              I guess having a bought and paid for strategic pawn on Russias border is more valuable to the U.S….longterm.

              • Probably all printed money. There is an endless supply of that.

                But, I think the Ukrainians would be fighting with or without international support. They would likely be under a lot more Russian control by now. But they probably would go to more of an insurgency type war.

                So, the US and Europe are just backing the Ukrainians in a fight they intend to have any way.

                This stuff from the Russians about them fighting NATO or whatever is ridiculous. At the moment it is the might of the Russian army against the might of NATO’s little finger.

                All that NATO has given the Ukrainians up until recently is basically some anti-tank and anti-aircraft gear, and some old Soviet stuff that the NATO nations wanted to get rid of for better stuff anyway.

                • Blazer

                  'This stuff from the Russians about them fighting NATO or whatever is ridiculous. At the moment it is the might of the Russian army against the might of NATO’s little finger'

                  Oh really!You might be interested to know that the U.S.A is a member of NATO…and has a rather large….'finger'.

                  • I did say "at the moment''. But that is certainly starting to change. Hence while Russia is trying to do as much as they can while they have the chance.

                    • Blazer

                      'at the moment',the U.S(NATO=member) is up to their eyeballs in it without actually deploying official boots on…the ground.

                    • That they are. But remember, it is not like they are supporting Ukraine to invade Russia. Ukraine never asked to be invaded, and Russia can end this any time they want to by withdrawing.

      • Sanctuary 3.2.2

        The Ukrainian's outstanding combat performance will only degrade as their best units are chewed up in attritional positional warfare in the Donbas, whereas for the Russians the only way is up. At some point in the short to medium term a convergence in combat performance will occur. Already reports are the remaining Russian are fighting a lot better. This is why the Ukrainians are desperate for artillery, a type of weapon whose lethality is almost independent of the skill of the infantry. In this sense, the fighting in the Donbas is analogous to most 20th century warfare. For example the Somme in 1916, where the huge losses of Kitcheners ill-trained "new armies" was of less military importance than the destruction of Germany's best pre-war infantry, with Ludendorff lamenting the conversion of the German army into a militia. Subsequent to the Somme as the Allies armies improved the Germans were forced to retreat to the Hindenburg Line & adopt an elastic defense based on concrete and a cadre of elite machines gunners. Or perhaps more relevant the huge losses of the Red army in 1941-42 were of less importance than the massive and irresplaceable attrition of the Germans in the same period. By the time of the post-Kursk counter-offensives the Red Army still wasn't very good but it had killed enough of the very good Germans of 1941 for it not to matter anymore.

        Another thing not being covered in the media is the crippling fuel crisis engulfing the Ukrainian army. Don’t be seduced by propaganda, the Russians are not stupid. All Ukrainian refining capacity was destroyed early on in this war and much of the subsequent Russian cruise missile attacks have been on the fuel storage and transport net, particularly railways, which has basically starved the Ukrainians of fuel for their still powerful tank brigades. Almost all imagery of Ukrainian heavy armour I've seen recently is showing it dug in, with probably only enough fuel for emegency use.

        All in all, the fate of the Ukraine will probably be decided in the next 2 weeks. If the Russians can't achieve a clean breakthough and surround the Donbas salient – and there is good reason to suppose they lack the combat power for this – then Putin will either declare war on or after the May Day parades and simply use brute force and numbers to overwhelm the Ukraine or someone will have to come up with a face-saving Russian "victory" with a ceasefire along the current battlelines – again if we were to look to history the Finnish defeat in the 1939 Winter war might be a good guideline. I know Zelensky will vehemently oppose any ceding of land but if that is what the US and Russia and China can cook up and the bulk of the Ukraine retains it's independence then that might be what he'll have little choice but to accept.

        • tsmithfield 3.2.2.1

          Here is some nice artillery work by the Ukrainians that may be the attack referred to in my post. But you can see they are very accurate.

          I think the Russian artillery are good at attacking civilian cities where they can't really miss. But I think their targeting ability is not as good as the Ukrainians.

          Fuel is definitely an issue. But at the moment, the Ukrainians don't need to move around as much as the Russians. The Ukrainians are able to maintain more defensive positions, and Putin has put the onus on the Russians to do the attacking.

          But fuel supply is something they definitely will need to solve when they start more counter-offensives. They have a similar problem to the Russians at the start of the war, in terms of long supply lines. They may need to start sending out fuel trucks from Poland or similar.

          Also, logistics continue to be a big problem for the Russians. Not only did the Ukrainians take out an arms depot, they have also just taken out several Russian railway bridges essential to supplying the Russian army.

          If the Ukrainians are able to, now would be a good time for them to counter attack, while the Russians are low on leadership, and don't want to waste their own ammo and fuel due to their own logistical problems.

          Declaring war is an option for Putin to increase the soldiers available, which is a major lack at the moment. But those soldiers aren’t magicked up over night. They have to be trained, equipped, and incorporated into the existing forces.

          Given the attrition rate on Russian equipment, and the difficulty of replacing it, this is going to be problematic for Russia, even if a state of war is declared.

          And, how much does Russia really want to weaken its armed forces over this conflict? They are just playing into the stated objectives of the US who want a weakened Russia.

          https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-61214176

          • Sanctuary 3.2.2.1.1

            Thre is no indication I have seen that the Ukrainians have sufficient combat power to conduct anything more than local counter-attacks. I think a counter offensive is completely beyond them and anyway, no armoured offensive has had any chance of succeeding if the enemy has air superority since 1940.

            The Russians will keep up a methodical, Great War style artillery dominated postional warfare to seize and hold limited objectives ('Artillery conquers, infantry occupies' to quote JFC Fuller) and using western artillery the Ukrainians will then counter-attack. The Russian will suffer hugely going in, and the Ukrainians will suffer hugely throwing them out again. This fighting will be almost exactly like the Western Front in 1917. IMHO, the war in the Ukraine will most likely develop into a version of Passchendaele.

            • tsmithfield 3.2.2.1.1.1

              I understand they have quite a good counter-offensive going around Kharkiv at the moment. That may be where the attack on Belgorod came from, as the Ukrainians are quite close to that border. And they are also threatening to cut off Russian supply lines from there.

              I understand their counter-attack around Kherson has come to a bit of a halt atm. But, from what I have read, the Russians have had to send a lot more forces back there to hold the ground. So, that removes Russian forces from attacking elsewhere.

              From what I have read, it looks like a lot of the Russian battle groups are very undermanned due to losses they have taken and are not really fully functional. For instance, apparently, some of their APCs are going out with only a couple of people in them rather than 8 or whatever the ideal number is.

              It sounds like their biggest problem is really not having enough infantry. I think this is in part due to their war strategy and also massive attrition. But it makes it very hard for them to hold ground and go forward. The problem being that, as they go forward, they have to leave troops behind to hold taken ground. This thins their forces out further as they continue to advance.

              So, where the Ukrainians have retreated, it often is strategic, going back to strong defensive positions and inviting the Russians to keep coming. Continually attacking defensive positions results in very high attrition, which is what we are seeing at the moment.

              The big mistake the Russians made at the start was to attack on too many fronts. So, the Ukrainians don't want to repeat the same mistake, and should focus their counter-attacks where they can have good effect.

              No links for the above sorry as it would take ages to find all the stuff I have looked at. As you can see, this is a bit of an obsession for me atm!!

              • RedLogix

                Good comments from both of you. I can well understand how absorbing these events are. To my mind the Ukrainian agony makes so many of the other 'outrage de jour' seem like petty, narcissistic distractions.

                • Thanks for that Red.

                  On the point of the fuel shortages for the Ukrainians, one thing they have in their advantage is the use of drone technology. This stuff is a lot more portable, and less fuel intensive than heavy armour. The Russians don't seem to be up with that so much.

                  Obviously the TB2 Turkish drone that has been well publicised. But also the US switchblade kamakaze drones. And they are also utilising hobby drones and converting them for munitions use. Including using 3D printers to customise tail fins etc so that are fitted to common, cheap munitions they have.

                  Here is an example of bombs being dropped from a hobby drone. That was a nice effort, dropping the bomb right through a car sunroof. Nothing but net!

                  Note: Trigger warning. That video does contain real war footage that some may find distressing.

                  • RedLogix

                    That is no fake trigger warning.

                    • It must be really unsettling as a soldier knowing that sort of thing can happen out of the blue. It must cause the sort of effect on morale that snipers cause.

                      Apparently they are customising armour-piercing munitions to be dropped from hobby drones on the likes of tanks and APCs. The cost-benefit of that equation is staggering. The cost of the drone plus munition is less than $1000, and they can take out a piece of equipment that might be worth $3/4 of a million or more.

    • Btw, I put the wrong link into the first link of my first post today.

      Here is the link I meant to put in:

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10772727/Putins-military-commander-Valery-Gerasimov-wounded-forced-evacuate-war-zone.html

  3. Ad 4

    If sea level rise was Labour-Greens' opening panic story to introduce their Zero Carbon strategy, starting a debate about sea walls, insurance stripping away location-specific premiums to zero coverage, the great Westport tombstone, and Canute-like 'heroic' resistance, we should probably expect a related panic theme every week coming out from Shaw and Roberston.

    • Dennis Frank 4.1

      The gist from Newshub's breaking story last night was that it was driven by a new scientific discovery. Neither Shaw nor Robertson seem to do panic. Shaw does pragmatic response (usually too understated) and Robertson does complacent ignorance (I've never noticed him personally addressing the climate crisis).

      If they were to collaborate, it'd be a good thing. Watch for any specific climate-change framing in his budget speech, huh? If you can cite it here, I'll applaud. If not, he'll prove me right.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        The story was designed as a precursor to the Carbon Zero announcement coming up in a couple of weeks.

        The carbon farming in the budget has been well telegraphed for months.

        It's the first and last time the Greens will get to shine this term.

    • Poission 4.2

      The narrative is clear as they rolled out the draft adaption plan first,then a model,then the CC initiatives,then the budget.

  4. Ad 5

    Great to see Ngai Tahu focusing the minds of Queenstown Lakes District Council and getting a total pullout of that Councils' opposition to 3 Waters.

    Council flips on Three Waters | Otago Daily Times Online News (odt.co.nz)

    This follows Dunedin City Council and Central Otago also seeing the light.

    Who else is going to crumble?

    • Nic the NZer 5.1

      Seems Ngai Tahu already have an influential governance stake. What pressure will they have put on the council?

      • Ad 5.1.1

        They have a lot of levers with Queenstown Lakes. They own much of the Queenstown CBD where QLDC resides. They are a JV partner on a couple of properties with them. They are one of the largest tourism operators in QLDC, in a city that runs on tourism. They are partners in Queenstown and Wanaka Kiwibuild. They are signatories on the NZTA-QLDC roading alliance that rebuilt the town centre and is now building the bypass SH1 road. They will also be one of the largest governance beneficiaries of 3 Waters.

    • Belladonna 5.2

      The local government elections are going to be very interesting. I'd expect that, if the Council has moved to supporting 3 waters, the anti-group will be looking to topple them. There's a strong swell of popular opinion against 3 waters (in the way that it's currently been packaged) – which all local body reps will be eyeing with concern….

      • Ad 5.2.1

        But then without water, and with less and less say in transport, what power does any local government really hold anymore?

        The Nat-proxies may well storm the castle at the local elections to find that it now has only one tall and very thin tower to defend.

        The local government kingdom has been lost.

        • RedLogix 5.2.1.1

          Next the hated colonial central government. No more of that nasty democratic tyranny of the majority anymore.

          • Ad 5.2.1.1.1

            In 3 Waters there are now so many safeguards against privatisation that they forgot that the 50% iwi ownership is pretty close to privatisation itself.

            There's not even a 49-51% split that John Key did for the electricity generator selloff.

            While this government clearly sees a rationality in renationalising health and tertiary education, the state is forming a structure for water in which Ministers (and hence voters) get the least possible influence.

            I bet if Labour proposed to National that the regional and co-governance model was dumped and they simply set up a nationwide water asset owner, it would go the same was as the National+Labour+Act vote that the Carbon legislation got: enduring Parliamentary mandate.

            • RedLogix 5.2.1.1.1.1

              As it happens this morning I found out an old colleague of mine is working in a leadership role in just this space, and I think I have made it clear I am fully supportive of major water industry consolidation for any number of good technical reasons.

              But caucus seems to have conflated it with another agenda altogether that looks for all practical purposes indistinguishable from 'separate development'. And some of us might recall where that led to.

        • Blazer 5.2.1.2

          The Natz were not too concerned about the locals when it came to the …. Auckland Supercity.

          The touted synergies and savings proved to be ….b/s.

          • Ad 5.2.1.2.1

            Tru dat. Anyone expecting cheaper water bills after 3 Waters?

          • roblogic 5.2.1.2.2

            The SuperCity was initially Labour’s idea but when National won in 2008 it became the plaything of ACT and Rodney Hide forced through breaking changes in unseemly haste, way outside of the transition plan, and the resulting beast was not what the royal commission envisaged. The RW tried to fuck up Auckland by turning the main council services into corporate CCO’s that mostly ignore democracy. Luckily Aucklanders were wise to the gNats asset-stripping ways and have tried to elect left wing Councillors ever since.

      • Robert Guyton 5.2.2

        There was a swell of opposition to 3 Waters. That swell is rapidly being reduced, by strategic manoeuverings, to a harmless ripple. There will be no community up-rising to topple councillors who support 3 Waters.

  5. Poission 6

    Today and tomorrow there is an electrical generation imbalance,where demand can exceed supply at ant time.

    https://nzgb.redspider.co.nz/

  6. Puckish Rogue 7

    So the pop culture wars currently being played out on our screens, books, comics and games are certainly getting interesting.

    I get the feeling that the current woke/intersectional/garbage is slowly, but surely, turning.

    The BBC, finally, realized that the 13th Doctor (or Doctor Karen if you prefer) was poorly written and was greatly disliked (not because shes a woman but because the scripts were garbage) and so Russel T Davies has returned and we're all now waiting for the death of Doctor Karen and who will be the new Doctor

    To bring back the audiences I see no better option than David Tennant and Billie Piper (though I think Christopher Eccleston was best) coming back for a limited run and then handing off to the new Doctor

    Batwoman finally cancelled, this show basically epitomised all that was bad about woke culture:

    Amazon have made a major boo boo with the Rings of Power, heres a reuploaded clip that Amazon put out of 'superfans' talking about the trailer and then Amazon removed it because of how bad it was received

    Comedians and actors are now starting to speak out, Bill Maher has certainly seen which way the wind is blowing.

    Disney is haemorrhaging money, Netflix loses over 50 billion and subscriptions for the first time

    Get woke go broke is now starting to become mainstream

    We've still got a long way to go but at least theres a distant light at the end of the tunnel

    However there are still many, many problems and this isn't just a left right issue but a good entertainment issue, heres a list of best picture winners and nominees form today back, have a look at the movies this decade and compare them to previous decades

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academy_Award_for_Best_Picture#2020s

    Movies from decades past used to be both critically acclaimed and popular with audiences, look at the movies on the list and look at some of the movies that were nominated and didn't win and compare them to today

    What that means is movies are going backwards and we're suffering for it.

    • Visubversa 7.1

      Christopher Eccleston was great. He is still doing good work – as well as appearing at places like the Manchester Working Class Movement Library.

      • Puckish Rogue 7.1.1

        I think he really did come across like an alien (not that I've met an alien) and while Billies chemistry with David was off the charts Christopher is still the best Doctor

        Hopefully hes got his mental illnesses under control because he was really not doing well at all not so long ago

        • roblogic 7.1.1.1

          Eccleston was a great way to reboot the franchise but to me, Tennant was the most watchable Doctor, even the canonical Dr Who. He brought humour and zany energy. The downside was an unfortunate tendency to be a foppish nerd and talk a lots of BS rather than take action. I blame the writers for that. Tennant is a great actor

    • roblogic 7.2

      Enjoyed the "BatWoman" trailer — at least they use the word "Woman" simply and clearly. Never watched the show.

      As for the Amazon show, it's based on the appendices to LOTR, they don't have rights to the real stories from the Silmarillion or Lost Tales, so it's doomed to be weak. I don't mind a different take on Middle Earth. (The Last Ringbearer by Kirill Yeskov was great). But I am worried that they won't be telling the great stories we hope for.

      • Puckish Rogue 7.2.1

        Different takes are fine, some of those really into the books don't like the movies and thats fine.

        The problem is they're using Tolkiens name and leeching off the movies (as much as they can) but also are trying to erase Tolkien as much as possible and rewrite his works for 'todays' audiences

        Its almost as if they've forgotten that the books have been translated into over 30 (nearly 40) languages so other cultures seem to be fine with what Tolkien wrote or that the movies made nearly 3 billion dollars world wide (nearly 6 if you count The Hobbit film series)

        So people all over the world were happy with the books and happy with the films yet these producers have decided their must be Hobbits Harfoots, black beardless female dwarves, black elves with short hair, Galadriel must be shown in armour and swinging a sword (because being top three most powerful beings in the third age just isn't enough)

        You want to make movie or a series with black elves then go for it, beardless dwarves is aok with me

        Just don't say its Tolkien

        • roblogic 7.2.1.1

          Bezos has reportedly spent a billion dollars (money acquired by notoriously exploiting his workers) trying to get this thing to the screen. Will enjoy the schadenfreude if it fails. And I agree it does look to be a travesty against Tolkien’s vision, because too many millennial writers are making it into their own political ego trip.

          But on the other hand, Middle Earth is such an amazing place & I love to see it brought to life.

      • roblogic 7.2.2

        (Correction: “Unfinished Tales” not “Lost Tales”)

  7. Dennis Frank 8

    The end times are nigh. The war in the police hierarchy between progressive commanders and fascists has entered the attrition phase. As the numbers turn against him, the police director of the national organised crime group, Greg Williams, wrote in an email that it “makes my head hurt".

    Stuff requested under the OIA any correspondence between the district commanders and Police National Headquarters over the proposal.

    The emails from last year reveal that many district commanders felt the national operation was a poor use of resources and was a distraction from action against organised crime, guns and methamphetamine.

    Of the 12 police districts, only three – Tasman in the South Island, and Central and Eastern in the North Island – expressed support for conducting aerial cannabis search and destroy operations.

    Waikato police district commander superintendent Bruce Bird criticised an official report into the national operation. He said the initiative had failed to make cannabis any more expensive, suggesting that supply had not been dramatically affected. “This paper is full of assumptions and speculation, but lacks any evidence,” he said. “There is also evidence that the price for a tinny [a small amount of cannabis] never changes – that is an impact on supply and demand.”

    He seems to mean the evidence shows no impact on supply and demand – but the words got scrambled in his head and came out wrong.

    Canterbury district commander John Price wrote in an email in September that they had not run aerial operations “for a few years”. “The intelligence is not there to support the benefit realisation".

    Intelligence not being there has never been a problem for cops in the past, so looks like radical progress is happening.

    Waitematā district commander Naila Hassan wrote in an email in September that she did not support the plan. “In Waitematā we don’t see any worthwhile benefit to this operation being run in our district.” Bay of Plenty district commander Andy McGregor also wrote that he did not support a national operation.

    Gosh, it's almost as if there's been an outbreak of common sense. No wonder the crime ringleader dude got spooked.

    Wellington district crime services manager John van den Heuvel summarised feedback from staff in the capital in another email last September. “With benefit not obvious, the proposed annual NCCO may be viewed as an operation for the sake of an operation,’’ one bullet point in the email stated.

    The feedback was sent to police director of national organised crime group, Greg Williams, who replied in an email that it was not productive.

    Who would expect a fascist to notice when a feedback process produced a consensus? They don't get training in how to spot a consensus, so can't blame them.

    Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick: "the price of a tinny has not been impacted." Word on the street? Part of the hip younger generation, so I guess she gets it. Anyway, price stability is the goal of the RB, neoliberalism, and our parliamentary bipartisan consensus, so it's win/win/win all around. Except for the fascists.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/128504777/police-division-over-controversial-cannabis-operation-revealed

  8. mac1 9

    Small question of hyperbole here. "Fascism : a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government." Can you marry this definition of fascism with your depiction of some police commanders as 'fascists' who are still seeing air surveillance of marijuana growing as worthwhile? I get you don't agree but really…. fascist?

    Let's keep that word for those to whom it really applies.

  9. woodart 10

    good post. have had personal experience with a couple of those places, high tides co-inciding with inland rainfall can be devastating, and its getting common. I think that most sea-protection happens where the land is worth more, somewhere there is a correlation between not believing climate change, and demanding that something be done about something you dont believe in, the nth shore springs to mind. there will be neighbourhood valuation groups meeting and discussing what can be done to stop rising waters, and lowering values…

  10. Blade 11

    The plot thickens. Is the PM going to break her promise about no wealth tax this term? What about in the future should Labour be re elected?

    She wont' say. Maybe because she is set to move on?

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2022/05/prime-minister-jacinda-ardern-says-parts-of-nz-s-tax-system-are-unfair-refuses-to-rule-out-wealth-tax.html

    David Parker also seems to be chomping at the bit to get stuck into these rich pricks given his utterances on the issue lately.

    Bring it on.

  11. RedLogix 12

    See how the choice in the OP is framed between climate or the economy. Not allowed both.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • weka 12.1

      Had you made some decent attempt to explain your thinking and referenced what it is in the post you think frames economy vs climate, I might have let this go. I’ve told you many times now that you don’t understand my position, and I’ve asked you to stop misrepresenting it. In the post I said that Labour should be helping coal mining communities to transition to other livelihoods. That’s the economy and climate action. I’m not willing to have people continually making shit up about what I write so please stay out of my posts for the rest of the month.

      • RedLogix 12.1.1

        Just giving you the chance to keep your arm in. cheeky

        But having moved this to OM I can now say what I really think. The Greens everywhere have for decades vociferously stifled the one technology that would have prevented this crisis – yet even now when the failure is blatantly obvious – you still cannot tolerate anyone talking about it.

        As I said – your OP on the other thread framed the problem as a false choice between coal and the industries on which our economy depends.

      • RedLogix 12.1.2

        In the post I said that Labour should be helping coal mining communities to transition to other livelihoods.

        Without specifying even in the broadest outline how you think this can be done – this is a pretty meaningless claim. My problem with all of these de-power schemes is that while they might look superficially appealing, once you start to dig into the complex energy, material and technology linkages involved in everything you take for granted about the modern world – they start to look less pretty.

        You once argued there was no reason why we could not go back to living something like we did in the 1950's. Sure – but there is no reason to think that would be any more a stable state than it was back then. Moreover you would also have to accept that a population of 8b is not going to survive with the food production we had then. No computers, no internet, no medical tech – so many things we take for granted in 2022, are just not possible in a 1950 context.

        Nor would I suggest that a second wave feminism would have happened. The opportunity for women to access the workforce in very large numbers was largely possible to the elimination of a lot of physical labour with automation for instance. All of this tech is inter-woven in ways most people do not see – and you generally either get the whole enchilada or none at all. There is not much scope for picking the things you want to have in 1950, like mRNA vaccines, but not computers mining bitcoin.

        The point I have made many times – but you refuse to acknowledge – is that technology drives social change. If you deconstruct and regress the technology, the same will likely happen with the social conditions – only in ways you will probably not really like. Indeed if you want to see what would likely happen – consider the lives of the very poorest women on earth, still living in absolute poverty. These people are wonderfully de-powered, yet you would find their living conditions intolerable.

        There is of course scope for us to trim excess and waste – and we keep doing this all the time. But the idea we can happily regress backward in time to a previous era that was somehow better and safer is dishonest, unadulterated rose-tint as far as I am concerned.

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