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Open mike 02/12/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 2nd, 2020 - 123 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 …

123 comments on “Open mike 02/12/2020 ”

  1. Ad 1

    So if you'd like to take a stand against China's bullying of Australia, which includes its slapping of a 212% tariff on Australian wine, there's just one thing to do:

    https://www.theage.com.au/world/europe/will-not-be-bullied-citizens-around-the-world-told-to-buy-australian-wine-in-stand-against-china-20201201-p56jew.html

    Join with thousands of other Parliamentarians around the world and buy an Australian wine today. in the video, even Minister Sepuloni joins in:

    "You know what? Japanese sake is the best!" says Shiori Yamao, an independent member of Japan's House of Representatives before Republican Senator Ted Yoho declares "two words – Napa Valley", before saying it is time to "drink something a little bit different" and buy Australian wine, "because our friends need our help".

    "We are asking you all to join us in standing against Xi Jinping's authoritarian bullying," says Miriam Lexmann, a Christian Democrat Member of the European Parliament.

    "By drinking a bottle or two of Australian wine and letting the Chinese Communist Party know that we will not be bullied," says Swedish Christian Democratic, Elisabet Lann, a municipal councillor who holds up a glass of Penfolds.

    The video features one Australian MP – Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching from Victoria – who said that China's attempts to bully Australia, including its list of 14 grievances, was an attack on "free countries everywhere".

    • RedLogix 1.1

      A good analysis here as well:

      China has lost such trust through its belligerent behaviour towards Japan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and a host of trading partners.

      But its diplomats don’t care. The Chinese Communist Party is striving for complete control at home. The forces of the People’s Liberation Army are rapidly overtaking those of the US. Its economic influence is already second to none.

      So why bother backing down?

      “Once we’ve given up communicating, the danger level rises on everything,” Dr Rogers said.

      Yet China's massive economic clout, a weapon it's now openly using to coerce Australia, is entirely dependent on the trust of other nations. Perhaps more than any other modern large nation it's wealth and influence has only come about because of a unique set of circumstances that have prevailed since the end of WW2.

      Yet it is also incredibly vulnerable:

      It's a nation with very poor food security, ranked lower than India. In particular it has a very low arable land area per capita, worse still much of that land highly dependent on imported inputs to remain productive.

      It's an ageing nation dependent on export markets to sustain it's industries. There will be no consumption led growth for China, it's demographic precludes this.

      And for all the hype and noise about going green, China like the rest of the world still gets 85% of it's energy from fossil fuels. Much of which is imported and highly vulnerable to disruption.

      It's surrounded by 14 other nations, most of which are distrusting or engaged in low level hostilities. It may have a large navy, but for the moment it's constrained by a First Island Chain of neighbours that limit the kind of blue water projection of power necessary to protect it's shipping routes.

      It's financial system is so monstrously overleveraged that it makes the rest of the world look like a model of probity.

      And while we have grown up thinking of China as a monolithic nation, it's history is quite otherwise. There are numerous geographic, ethnic and economic reasons that constantly pull in the other direction. This is the reason why the CCP exert such draconian control over their population, they fear this more than anything else.

      It really doesn't matter which one of these factors blows up first, when one goes it will be the perfect storm. The question I keep asking myself, is exactly what are the CCP's intentions here? And sadly I keep coming back to Xi Xinping's own words when he repeatedly commands his military to prepare for war. The CCP understand their vulnerabilities; none of it is rocket science. Their answer they have arrived at is imperial dominance.

      Sometimes when someone says they want to kill you, it's not wholly paranoid to believe them.

      • francesca 1.1.1

        Sure, sure Red, when you also stand up against the economic sanctions imposed on poor countries causing poverty , illness and death .

        Venezuela, Syria,Iran…the list goes on .But we can make a stand against imperialist bullying by knocking ourselves out on Aussie wine!!!!!!

        I can't think of a more middle class first world protest than drink the Aussie wine that's killed Aussie rivers and displaced indigenous communities

        • RedLogix 1.1.1.1

          I understand where you're coming from; nowhere have I claimed the US-led system did not make mistakes and fall short of it's professed ideals. Yet focusing solely on the failures means we also miss the enormous successes. Because while it's important to accept and take responsibility for our failures, unless we also know what we have done right, we have no starting point and no compass to guide us to better.

          For the purpose of a useful discussion I'm going to take all those failures as read; and at then look to what it got right, and how it shaped all the good things about the modern world you live in.

          I can't think of a more middle class first world protest than drink the Aussie wine that's killed Aussie rivers and displaced indigenous communities

          Wineries may have some impact, but it's nothing compared to the far more massive consequences of cotton and rice farming.

          As for the displacement of indigenous communities … well I ask you this … is there any people in all of human history that have not been 'displaced' at some point? It was almost always a brutal, ugly process and it's only a fairly modern idea that maybe we could do this differently.

          • Ad 1.1.1.1.1

            That Human Progress site is a tonic.

          • francesca 1.1.1.1.2

            Well thats where we part company Red

            "mistakes"?

            "falling short"?

            I suggest all those "mistakes" and "shortfalls"are working just dandy for the monied interests that have captured "democracies" all over the globe

            https://theintercept.com/2015/07/30/jimmy-carter-u-s-oligarchy-unlimited-political-bribery/

            Monied interests backed up by national .military might .

            It's been going on for long enough for those "mistakes and "shortfalls " to have been corrected several times over

            The United Fruit Company in Guatemala is a case study for all

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.2.1

              I'd prefer not to part company if possible. If you'd bear with me maybe we could explore another more constructive framework to view the US at some other time.

              Cheers

        • WeTheBleeple 1.1.1.2

          I was just looking at the issue of vinasse yesterday, and wondering what kiwis do with this waste. It's one of the dirty aspects of crop residue type biofuels too. Some articles hinted at solutions, but wanted me to pay money for science we as taxpayers already paid for. Ideas like microbial processing for byproducts, making biochar from it, co-composting with other waste streams…

          One article went so far as to claim vinasse as a valuable resource which I had wondered at, again, an article behind a paywall.

        • Adrian Thornton 1.1.1.3

          @francesca +1, not to mention Australia has obviously taken the USA's lead and become extremely aggressive in their dealing with China ever since it became apparent that China will lead the world with their 5G technologies…then all of a sudden China is public enemy number one, it's not that hard to put the pieces together..is it? though as usual, the usual suspects around here get lead around like dogs on a leash…barking at those they are told to bark at, time and again always the same ones… it's kind of pathetic really

          Huawei Australia says ban is a ‘slap in the face’ to China

          Former PM Malcolm Turnbull has defended his decision to ban Huawei from Australia’s 5G rollout. But the Chinese tech giant is still offended.

          https://www.news.com.au/technology/online/internet/huawei-australia-says-ban-is-a-slap-in-the-face-to-china/news-story/4d6ba569b153c0e068a5be515e9da36f

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.3.1

            Would you post here if you knew that the SIS had built and provided the server box Lynn uses to run The Standard on?

            Hypothetically speaking.

            • Adrian Thornton 1.1.1.3.1.1

              So if we follow your your logic, then this severer would be being monitored directly by the CIA, so what's the difference?

              • RedLogix

                I take it then that your answer is no.

                • Adrian Thornton

                  No the answer is yes…I assume that everything on the net is traceable at any time to most powerful governments/secret services in the world which is why I don't bother trying to hide my identity.

                  • RedLogix

                    OK so you have confirmed that you believe that IT infrastructure is essentially wide open to government monitoring and infiltration.

                    Now can you see why Western governments are reluctant to go with Huawei?

        • Descendant Of Smith 1.1.1.4

          How much of Cuba's struggle for instance was because of the embargos put on by the USA? Without those embargos what would they have looked like….

      • Ad 1.1.2

        Like you I wonder at whether Xi Jinping's government really is as coherent as it proposes.

        In particular we have often seen the Belt and Road Initiative is portrayed as a geopolitical strategy that ensnares countries into unsustainable debt and then allows China undue influence in a country.

        But the on-ground evidence shows that China's development financing system is too fragmented and poorly coordinated to pursue detailed strategic objectives; and developing-country governments and their associated political and economic interests are still acting like they are sovereign when it comes to determining the nature of BRI projects.

        If BRI had some Jinping masterplan for global control, it would not have been rolled out piecemeal through a series of diverse bilateral interactions.

        Also, if BRI really were out to rule the world there simply wouldn't have been that many stuffups and poorly conceived and managed projects. They would have adjusted and altered rather than piling up the negative economic, social, political and environmental negative consequences.

        In Sri Lanka and Malaysia, the two most widely cited ‘victims’ of China’s ‘debt-trap diplomacy’, the most controversial BRI projects were initiated by the recipient governments, which pursued their own domestic agendas. Their debt problems arose mainly from the misconduct of local elites and Western-dominated financial markets. China has faced negative reactions and pushback in both countries, though to a lesser extent than is commonly believed, given the high-level interests at stake in the recipient countries.

        Being an infrastructure nerd I still think BRI is one of their best ways to stop behaving like the new global asshole. Chiense policymakers should develop a coherent, integrated decision-making system with sufficient risk assessment capabilities and strict and clear and enforceable rules. That means Xi Jinping demonstrates he can truly regain control of its massive state owned enterprise (SOE) construction and development and infrastructure sector.

        To me it's a trap if Australia or New Zealand or Singapore looks at BRI as if it were being strategically directed from the top down.

        And of course if they want to reverse Chinese influence with such developing-country governments they should provide alternative development financing options to recipient states, and keep encouraging open-society journalists to improve the transparency of these megaprojects.

        And there's that thing called sunlight: the large developed-world construction companies can keep needling and pushing higher demands for transparency and public participation around the design, feasibility, selection, tendering, and management of BRI megaprojects.

        Chatham House details the Sri Lanka and Indonesia cases for BRI here:

        https://www.chathamhouse.org/2020/08/debunking-myth-debt-trap-diplomacy

        • RedLogix 1.1.2.1

          Yes. BRI was at heart a good idea if it had been pursued on an open multilateral, global development basis. But instead it was primarily captured by crude China centric merchantile interests that undermined it's credibility from the outset.

          Otherwise I appreciate your perspective on this. I find BRI such a herd of cats it's hard to form a coherent picture of it.

      • Treetop 1.1.3

        What do you see long term that China will do with Hong Kong?

        Food production hub, military base, financial hub.

      • Tiger Mountain 1.1.4

        Australia has long been the US “Deputy Dog” in the South Pacific, so can likely be taken as a US proxy–though who knows to what end given the Trump period. Most significant wars are imperialist wars whether fought out ideologically, technologically, via trade, or armed conflict.

        So what is in it for the NZ working class, siding with Australia in this pathetic case?
        Donald Trump could put out multiple highly offensive international tweets in the time between dinner and his midnight happy meal.

  2. gsays 2

    Yes, it's terrible.

    I'll be sure to tweet my outrage on my device made by 10 year olds in China.

    Hat tip, Frankie Boyle.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    We should all be very alarmed at this stoush between Australia and China. Neither side seems prepared to back down. This has to be seen in the context of Australia's current massive military build up. Over the next 10 years, Australia will spend $200 billion on defence in the nation’s largest ever peacetime rearmament program, and make no mistake – the current ANZAC + Singapore has a combined GDP in excess of 2 trillion dollars and is a middle power and major player in the Asia-Pacific region that controls key shipping routes and access to the Indian Ocean. China clearly has marked Australia's card as the sort of medium sized power it can cut down to size pour encourager les autres. especially in light of the isolationist chaos of the Trump regime perhaps offering the chance to pick off a key US ally. We should be very alarmed because Australia is NZ's main security partner. To paraphrase MJ Savage, where Australia goes we go, where Australia stands we stand. If China picks a fight with Australia, then eventually, if push comes to shove, they pick a fight with us.

    Xi's ascendancy is an utter tragedy for China. Just when it looked like China would join the world as a constructive player, they've slid backwards into the embrace of wild nationalism, authoritarian posturing about China's "dignity" and aggression.

    The Chinese leadership seems determined to pursue an agenda of confrontation with anyone who dares stand up to their artless and crude bullying, and will blatantly use trade to do so. They are signaling they are an untrustworthy trade partner whose scant respect for the rule of law internally is now being turned onto anyone who deviates from the butcher's of Bejings line. Appeasement though is unlikely to work with brutal and bullying dictatorships who fundamentally regard Western social democracy and freedoms as a threat to their own dictatorship.

    Unless China changes path war will become inevitable, mark my words.

    • KSaysHi 3.1

      Unfortunately, I think you are right.

    • RedLogix 3.2

      In line with my reply above at 1.1 yes I have to fully agree with you. It's astonishing just how rapidly COVID has accelerated the final dissolution of the post WW2 US led trade order. Like all things human it was flawed, and many here still like to attribute to it all the wickedness in the world. But the fact is that it also enabled virtually everything we take for granted about our modern lives.

      And it's just gone away.

    • Stuart Munro 3.3

      Agreed – I liked Hu, he had an impressive work ethic – Xi, not so much.

    • Adrian Thornton 3.4

      "The Chinese leadership seems determined to pursue an agenda of confrontation with anyone who dares stand up to their artless and crude bullying, and will blatantly use trade to do so"

      ..man you have a short memory there pal, I seem to remember that we were all fine with trade with China when it meant shifting all our industries and manufacturers over there so they could exploit their cheap labour to make more and more profits for themselves their shareholders (don't you remember that just a few months ago hardly one western country could even supply themselves face masks FFS!) and workers could all go and buy cheap shoes and TV's to make themselves all feel better about their stagnant wage growth …now all of a sudden when China becomes a powerful world player, and as a direct result of our own western liberal free market trade policies, we get all shitty at them…what a fucking joke…you and Ad and Red Logic and few others around here need to go and take a long hard look in the mirror….China's position in the world today is the direct result of western liberalism as conducted by the governments New Zealand and Australia over the past 30 years pure and simple.

      Turn Labour Left!

      • francesca 3.4.1

        I agree with you there Adrian

        Without cheap goods and electronic gadgets to sedate them, the low wage workers would have been out on the streets with pitchforks long ago

        Utter hypocrisy to be pointing the finger at China.

  4. KSaysHi 4

    Lin Wood tweeted a press release this morning calling on Trump to declare martial law to hold a new election if the Courts and Congress fail to uphold the Constitution. Not sure if it's appropriate to link, but should be easy enough to find because there is a full page ad in the Washington Times.

    Don't think it's possible given the constitutional deadlines (a bit contradictory…instate martial law to hold election/thereby ignoring consitutional deadline). Plus parts of the government are shutting down for Christmas and will no longer have the ability to act until the next lot come in.

  5. Tricledrown 5

    Child Poverty needs fixing $500 to $1 billion per year to fix.

    We can buy flash military equipment worth billions yet we can't fix child poverty these children will be paying for these posiedens( which most likely never be used ) but on miminimum wage jobs or benefits .

    We need to invest in our future workforce parents etc keeping another generation in poverty is a crime against humanity.

    • Sanctuary 5.1

      The way things are going with China, we'll have to re-arm soon and that'll cost a fortune.

      • Phillip ure 5.1.1

        send the poor people off to fight in a war..

        problem solved..!

      • The Al1en 5.1.2

        Like Phil's comments, rearming with an aim of defending against an aggressive full on China attack is a pointless exercise.

        As an example of monetary waste it would be unprecedented. All that cash to get knocked out in a couple of days or weeks can't seriously be justified.

        Better to build bridges than bombs.

    • Incognito 5.2

      [Link required]

    • Sabine 5.3

      if we could just do something about Parent Poverty. I wonder if that would then trickle down and have an effect on Child Poverty.

      Nah, that would not fix anything, lest waste another three years on consultants and hey, maybe a free sandwich at school, no second tho, we would not want to spoil the little bludgers, right?

    • Treetop 5.4

      In my childhood in the 1960s people had vegie gardens.

      The government need to invest in portable gardens, supply plants and run classes in halls. I realise this would take extra effort for those in rentals and that the landlord would need to agree. At least what was grown would be healthy.

      Community gardens would also work and orchardists could donate surplus fruit.

      • Descendant Of Smith 5.4.1

        We easily grow enough food to feed everyone without home vege gardens – we just can't afford to buy it or it gets deliberately wasted e.g. Watties contracts that require surplus to their (Watties) requirements to be destroyed and not sold elsewhere.

        It isn't really a supply and demand market where prices come down if production in in excess of demand – it is a command and control market where supply is deliberately controlled to maximise profit.

        • greywarshark 5.4.1.1

          Saw this ad Vegepod: About $90 but should last – good idea. Made in Tauranga seems. Look up on google – link is too long. Email – info@vegepod.co.nz

          Goodwood.nz Planter boxes untreated $79 kitset see on google

          Or tubs – bore through plastic about 3 holes with drill cheap – hold 10-15litres usually – don't know whether flexi tubs would be strong enough – think rigid.

          Some suitable see – https://www.thewarehouse.co.nz/c/home-garden/homewares/storage/flexi-tubs

          https://www.supercheapauto.co.nz/shop-by-category/car-care/detailing-accessories/buckets-and-tubs

          Also bunnings and mitre 10. Remember people make a living out of growing vegs and have jobs looking after them so being entirely self-sufficient would not be the way to go.

          • Treetop 5.4.1.1.1

            I have a young friend who uses any bits her or I can lay our hands on to plant stuff in. She grows plants from seeds and has just finished her degree with a toddler and a preschooler. Given the timber I could whack up some portable planter boxes and my strength is limited.

            The gardening bug sticks once you start getting results. I started gardening 2 years ago.

            The planter boxes you mentioned (or other) would make a great gift.

        • WeTheBleeple 5.4.1.2

          Can you show evidence of Watties doing this?

      • Sacha 5.4.2

        In the 1950s and 60s people also had families where one of two parents stayed home full-time to tend to gardens and suchlike. Different world.

        There are good gardening programmes in some schools now where the students invest the labour and the school organises the supplies.

    • McFlock 5.5

      Talking about this? NZ child poverty monitor released today.

      Not sure where you get the cash figure from though.

      There was also a child health report released yesterday.

  6. Tricledrown 6

    Kathryn Rich at it again defending high sugar fruit juices .

    Claiming Scientific evidence proves otherwise.

    Yet we have one of the highest levels of obesity of any country in the world.

    A sugar tax to pay for the epidemic of type 2 diabetes overloading our health system.

    A leopard never changes her spots after picking on our duopoly grocery marketfor acting uncompetively. I knew she could not be trusted with the Truth.

    • Incognito 6.1

      [Link required]

    • Stuart Munro 6.2

      Better I think to regulate maximums and creep them down incrementally – that way consumers are nudged away from sugar addiction.

      Link is https://www.fgc.org.nz/another-look-at-sugar-labelling/

      Taxes are not always the best answer.

      • Phillip ure 6.2.1

        agreed…a sugar tax on (some of) the end product is incrementalism writ large..(in the sense of going 'look..!..we are doing something..!'..

        ..but in reality as far as addressing/solving the big problem…will achieve pretty much zilch..(which is of course the definition of incrementalism..)

        what will work is setting maximum amounts of sugar/salt/fat allowed in any food/drink sold to the public ..

        the reason the peddlers of these ill-health-in-a-bottle/packets love sugar so much..is 'cos it is as cheap as chips…and addictive..

        these cynical bastards know exactly what they are doing ..and there is no way they will stop these practices..

        regulating maximums is the only reform that will work..

        and of course the politicians also know this..and it really pisses me off that I am going to have to endure the self-congratulary b.s. they will spout..

        ..as they move to do very little at all..

        and moves that as far as our obesity problems are concerned..

        will do/achieve s.f.a…

      • Descendant Of Smith 6.2.2

        There's a documentary somewhere about how scientists, including a NZ one, recommended a maximum level for the WHO guidelines which many companies/countries follow. When the final paper came out the maximums were missing.

        Turns out the sugar companies had sponsored the work.

        The scientists involved did fight back against this but made little traction. Fixing that would be a good start.

  7. weka 7

    For those following the sex/gender wars, there's been a landmark judgement from a UK court today. Keira Bell, a previous patient at the Tavistock Clinic who took puberty blockers, later had a double mastectomy, and then detransitioned, along with a parent of an autistic 15 year old receiving gender dysphoria treatment, took the clinic to court on the basis that children under the age of 16 cannot give consent to irreversible medical treatments because they cannot understand the implications. Judgement today was in their favour.

    The judges said there would be enormous difficulties for young children weighing up this information and deciding whether to consent to the use of puberty blocking medication.

    “It is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers,” the judges added. “It is doubtful that a child aged 14 or 15 could understand and weigh the long-term risks and consequences of the administration of puberty blockers.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/01/children-who-want-puberty-blockers-must-understand-effects-high-court-rules

    Reasonable overview write up from the Guardian.

    • weka 7.1

      That's an example of a number of problems with the philosophy and practice at Tavistock. Hopefully now the general culture will start to change so that kids at risk of transitioning can be helped alongside trans kids that need medical intervention. Unfortunately Tavistock are going to appeal the decision.

    • weka 7.2

      for those who haven't been following, there's been a sharp increase in the UK in girls being referred for gender dysphoria treatment, which can fast track some into medical treatment.

      Growing up, Keira Bell felt confused and distressed by her body.

      At 16, she became one of thousands of girls, some as young as 10 or 11, referred to the Tavistock and Portman Trust.

      After three one-hour appointments she was prescribed puberty blockers before she was put on testosterone.

      "When I was 20 I had a double mastectomy," she said.

      She believed the treatment would help her "achieve happiness".

      Ms Bell, who began de-transitioning last year, said: "It was heartbreaking to realise I'd gone down the wrong path."

      https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-55144148

      The Gender Critical Feminist position on this is that girls end up hating their bodies because society still gives them so many messages that being female is bad/wrong and being male is good/right, as well as society reinforcing gender stereotypes that make life hard for gender nonconforming (GNC) kids. For lesbians, sometimes its easier to come out as trans than gay especially if they are in a family or community that is homophobic. There are additional issues for autistic teens (who naturally have more gender nonconformity than the general population), and girls who have been sexually abused.

      Tavistock should have been taking all that into account, but instead is using an affirmative model which says that if a child says they are a different gender then they should be treated as that.

      Feminist solutions are to change society so that GNC is normalised.

    • weka 7.3

      Also this.

      @Chican3ry (trans woman) and @GoonerProf (GCF) are both worth following, thoughtful and intelligent tweets from both sides of the war.

      • Mika 7.3.1

        One of the concerns I have is the number of gender non-conforming children who are pathologised and medicalised. The "affirmation only" approach practiced in NZ, leads to extremely high numbers going onto puberty blockers and ultimately cross-sex hormones, and there are irreversible effects such as infertility, and impaired sexual function, as well as permanent changes to voice, facial hair etc. Children and young people cannot possibly understand the consequences of these types of decisions.

        The saddest part is that in the past there was a model called "watchful waiting" where nothing was rushed, and the child was offered counselling and given time. Between 78-80% of kids on this pathway eventually grew out of their gender identity disorder and came to accept their sexed bodies as they are. Most of these kids grew up to be healthy gay and lesbian adults, without the long term medical consequences of hormone therapy.

        I am concerned that gender non-conforming gay and lesbian youth are being driven into a medicalisation model that results in infertility and permanent damage to healthy bodies. What is happening currently in NZ is literally sterilising gay kids for gender non-conformity.

        Keira Bell is an inspiration and a heroine for lesbian youth all the world, for the bravery she has shown.

    • Rosemary McDonald 7.4

      Finally!!! About time the ethics of irreversible gender reassignment 'treatment' was put under a strong spotlight.

      Thanks weka. I have been following this issue and will catch up with the reading later.

      By that time the backlash from the trans 'community' should be coming through.

      ("community" because there are many trans people who are equally uncomfortable with the massive increase in the numbers of children being 'treated' for gender dysphoria chemically and surgically.)

      • weka 7.4.1

        Am hoping it will at least open up the discussion, that MSM will get their shit together and report better, and that there's now some change of both GCF and TA positions being talked about without the bullshit around all that.

        I wouldn't say the trans community, so much as trans activists (which is both trans and not trans people). The main TA lobbies are lobbying against the ruling, but I think it's worth listening to TAs like Mallory above on the issues around trans health care. If we continue to polarise this, then trans kids will get thrown under the bus more.

        Beyond that there's a bigger conversation around society's reliance on overmedicalising generally. I think that's a very hard conversation to have in this area but I still see the potential for societal change that makes GNC easier for women, men and trans/NB people, lessening the pressure for medication and surgery while making sure that people that need those things can access them more equitably.

        Fuck transhumanism and it's anti-nature politics though, and fuck neoliberalism that is colonising feminism and gender nonconformity along with everything else.

        • Rosemary McDonald 7.4.1.1

          From the Guardian article you linked to..

          Diagnosis of gender dysphoria involves children demonstrating at least six of a series of behavioural traits as well as an “associated significant distress or impairment in function, lasting at least six months”.

          Those patterns of behaviour include:

          • A strong desire to be of the other gender or an insistence that one is the other gender.

          • A strong preference for wearing clothes typical of the other gender.

          • A strong preference for cross-gender roles in make-believe play or fantasy play.

          • A strong preference for toys, games or activities stereotypically used or engaged in by the other gender.

          • A strong preference for playmates of the other gender.

          • A strong rejection of toys, games and activities typical of one’s assigned gender.

          • A strong dislike of one’s sexual anatomy.

          • A strong desire for the physical sex characteristics that match one’s experienced gender.

          Interesting to read exactly what the 'symptoms' of gender dysphoria are.

          Growing up I could have easily ticked the required six boxes. Often criticized for my unfeminine/mannish behaviour and dress, and even to this day and three kids later I still get strange looks because I flatly refuse to wear heels and make up.

          Ffs, can't we just learn to accept ourselves and others how we are? Feminism was supposed to liberate us from restrictive rules of sex/gender sterotypes. The appallingly drastic interventions that these children have been subjected to because some fuckwit decided that …

          A strong preference for wearing clothes typical of the other gender.

          A strong preference for cross-gender roles in make-believe play or fantasy play.

          A strong preference for toys, games or activities stereotypically used or engaged in by the other gender. somehow proves that one was born into the wrong body. Utter bunkum and claptrap.

          • weka 7.4.1.1.1

            same, except that I grew up in a body-positive household, raised by a feminist mother, so my gender nonconforming behaviour didn't translate into hating my female body.

            I've been fortunate to live a life where having to be feminine in dress code hasn't been an issue (for the most part, there's still all the background stuff).

            What scares me about the Tavistock approach is there appears to be no acknowledgement that non-trans kids might have what they are calling gender dysphoria. I also think that there are differences in how girls and boys manifest that (due to the patriarchy but also due to sex differences).

            Really disturbing to me is the tick box approach to diagnostics of complex human experiences.

        • Mika 7.4.1.2

          Fuck transhumanism and it's anti-nature politics though, and fuck neoliberalism that is colonising feminism and gender nonconformity along with everything else

          Tautoko that Weka, Tautoko that.

          • Forget now 7.4.1.2.1

            Trans humans are not necessarily Transhumanists. Judith Collins regards herself a a feminist too. though some might disagree. The "trans community" is no more monolithic than the feminism community. But if Tavistock told her that there was a better than even chance of her being happy in a trans existence then that'd be misleading of them (our suicide stats and median income are pretty dire, though no way to compare that against pre/un/in-trans). That said, exempting trans people from the ban on conversion therapy isn't ideal

            Bell's treatment timeline seems to be; initial consults at age 14 (or whenever "soon" means), blockers at 16, testosterone at 17, mastectomy at 20, then detransitioning around 22. If she'd started the blockers earlier he might not have had to go through the trauma of surgery, but it doesn't seem improbable that waiting till 18 wouldn't have changed much in that trajectory. I don't much like reducing people to mere consumers of trans affirming medical resources like this, though that's all from publicly available information. Such a Truscum (/Transmedicalist) to Trender path has been trodden before. Can't help wondering how she'll get on in oncoming years.

            I found Bell's own words on the issue more illuminating than whatever slant the various news sources put on her comments of the day. Personally, I hope that she loses on appeal, so am not going to be donating. But it is good to get a feel of where she is coming from:

            https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/challenge-innate-gender/

            • weka 7.4.1.2.1.1

              to clarify, my comment about transhumanism wasn't to tie it to trans people but to the parts of the medical community who are overmedicalising and leading us down that path. Also ties to neoliberalism. And the parts of the trans community that are into transhumanism, but there people on the left or the green movement likewise, there will always be people that find that stuff attractive where it meets their needs and politics.

              People that needs drugs and surgery need drugs and surgery. But I cannot see why trans health care would be exempt from overmedicalisation when all other humans aren't.

              • weka

                I consider the sanction against talking about overmedicalisation of GNC and trans kids as dangerous in the same way that not talking about it has been dangerous for women, psych patients/survivors and so on.

  8. ianmac 8

    Received a vehicle registration renewal notice apparently from NZTA. Email has no sign of NZ in address. d3mina@sapo.pt. No registration number to renew. $79.95 does not relate to usual fee.

    Is this a SCAM?

    • Andre 8.1

      Yes, it is a scam. I vaguely recall seeing alerts about scams like this going around, specifically using NZTA.

      edit: here’s the NZTA page about the scam:

      https://www.nzta.govt.nz/online-services/report-a-phishing-scam/latest-phishing-scams/vehicle-licence-rego-email-scam/

      • ianmac 8.1.1

        Thanks Andre. I had given none of my details as the notice looked dodgy. Have passed my scam onto the NZTA.

    • Chris T 8.2

      It might have changed, but just going by my experience all my rego' and and WOF reminders have been by post.

      Never had an email from them.

      As I say though. It may have changed.

      • ianmac 8.2.1

        All my NZTA renewals are online now Chris T. Reminder and payments are done online. Cheaper and labels arrive by post.

        Cheers

        • RedBaronCV 8.2.1.1

          I do mine by post and get the instant gratification of the licence from the Post shop. What I do object to is the on the ground option being more expensive. If you own a car it is a government fee or charge that must be paid. Not every body has access to the internet emails or even a reasonably secure mail box. Plus there are very considerable but overlooked costs of hardening online systems against the various hacks and scams ( and in this case giving publicity to a scam) which appear not to be borne by online users in the same way as on the ground users are charged.

          As far as I am concerned it's time for a whole of government approach to paying the various fees and levies they collect over all sorts of activities rather than every little fifedom going its own way. In particular people with limited access to computors and other online and banking or credit card systems should not be penalised with extra charges given the fraud levels in the online world.

          The other kicker. I had a run out rego to pay on a sold vehicle. The options were either a cheque or pushing the buttons on the phone to access some unknown and completely unable to verify system of "who knows how secure" to pay by credit card. It's worth remembering that online or phone systems that take numbers are of very different and in some cases downright dubious security character.

          • Sacha 8.2.1.1.1

            People who pay bills in person at a Postshop enjoy the physical security costs the same way online payers do.

            However, staff costs are a big enough ongoing difference for organisations to try get customers to use online instead.

            When it's a regulatory cost like a car rego, I agree that should not be the case.

            • RedBaronCV 8.2.1.1.1.1

              While there are security costs in a network run at more that one location – the costs would be lower for going into say a bank branch and using that rather than accessing the same net work completely externally from the home computer.

              The epidemic of on line fraud and the costs overseas are now pretty substantial. The UK is up to around half a billion of bank fraud per annum now I believe. Cut that back to an NZ perspective and that is still $10's of millions that are going to be extracted from customers who are not online. Staff costs are not that super large and if say the banks had any sense they could direct calls to frontline staff to answer in the real life gaps – plus leave jobs in the provinces.

              • Sacha

                Organisations are quite aware what their costs are.

                • RedBaronCV

                  Touching faith there.

                  In my quite wide experience they may know their gross costs but spreading it over various activities borders on the political. Frequently to make some new or pet project look a great deal better than it is because someone's KPI's /ego is on the line. And most forward costing is just a plus1 type model. They also choose to recoup in this case costs from only one class of customer. Just because a computer is involved doesn't make it cheaper. Frequently the reverse.

    • Ric Stacey 8.3

      Be aware of a similar scam asking you to pay your net flix account

    • Rapunzel 8.4

      It's a scam we ge" t a reminder by email but it's from this address "no.reply@nzta.govt.nz"

  9. greywarshark 9

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/431927/managed-isolation-charges-third-of-users-not-paid-fee-after-three-months

    Government can be tough on some people – get tough on these ones as well. Not unreasonable, but they have to start paying something in every fortnight, and keep it up from their wages. A good old fashioned garnishee or such.

    Don't be so wet Labour – is there no-one adjusting the steam press in the steamy laundry of government; too much there release, pshoo – too little here, wind it up slowly, sigh? And think of the dear little working elves in the government basement. Picture the civil servants with little green caps with a bell on like Noddy!

    • RedBaronCV 9.1

      What – no payment up front with a credit card and then a compassionate refund later if one is eligible for one. If not why not.

  10. Psych Nurse 10

    As a health professional, in my experience young females transitioning to male, broadly fall into three catagories. 1. Those with a borderline personality disorder where the transition is another form of self mutilation. 2. Following a trend ie all my friends are doing it. 3. Those who have unfortunately been sexually abused and the transition is a means of making themselves unattractive and less likely to be preyed upon. None of which is likely to lead to a fulfilling adult life.

    • greywarshark 10.1

      That's most interesting psych nurse. I am inclined to believe you because you are confirming my ideas. Considering the knowledge and experience you have amassed, it does seem to be a very likely summary of the facts. It seems to me to be a wave of almost protest or escape from the sad realities of the present. Transitioning to female probably seems a nicer, kinder option than staying with the persona that many males project.

  11. Ad 11

    Great to see Minister Wood putting an article straight to GreaterAuckland – way to circumvent the MSM.

  12. ianmac 12

    Great news! (Has this already been noted?)

    The Government will require all its agencies and ministries to exclusively buy electric vehicles and will mandate all public sector buildings to be up to a "green standard".

    This is part of the Government goal to make the entire public sector carbon neutral within the next five years.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made the commitments as she declares a climate emergency in New Zealand in the House today.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/all-govt-departments-now-required-to-buy-electric-vehicles-prime-minister-jacinda-ardern/BQNW3AQ3B7NZVP5MCANP2ILGFY/

    • Sacha 12.1

      The Government's electric vehicle mandate is a lofty goal – there are currently nearly 16,000 vehicles in the Government's fleet.

      As well as this, Ardern has announced that the Government has begun phasing out coal boilers in its ministries and agencies.

      There are roughly 200 coal-fired boilers currently heating water and buildings in the State Sector – the largest and most active will be phased out first.

      This, and the purchasing of a greener fleet, will be funded through the previously announced $200 million State Sector Decarbonisation Fund.

      I suspect it will cost much more than that before 2025, but good on them for getting on with it.

    • RedBaronCV 12.2

      It does need some back up policy otherwise the petrol cars are just going to be dumped into the private fleet. Given the $value of petrol that users don't buy we need to get the whole fleet up to scratch. A $28k hybrid uses about $14K less petrol over a 200,000 journey

    • alwyn 12.3

      I'm afraid you left out the caveats that are given in the link you provide.

      You say "to exclusively buy electric vehicles" They have no intention at all of sticking to exclusively electric vehicles.

      The Herald story says

      "When it comes to vehicles, Government agencies will be required to "optimise their car fleet" by purchasing electric vehicles or hybrids where EVs are not appropriate for the required use.

      That is unless their operational requirements or other circumstances require – such as military vehicles where there is no electric alternatives."

      In other words you give the headline bit but not the reality that provides a hole big enough for anyone to drive through. I'm afraid that BMW don't make an all electric model of the 7 series sedan though so it will have to be, at best, a hybrid for the cabinet Ministers.

      • Andre 12.3.1

        The previous contract with BMW apparently expired last year. Haven't seen anything about it being renewed. Perhaps the current lot like Teslas better? The 600km+ range of a current Model S should be plenty for most needs within NZ.

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/just-how-green-is-the-ministerial-car-fleet/6GHPLQHTSRQFBLWJLK2X6DSXJA/

        • Sacha 12.3.1.1

          Beemers already partly replaced: https://thedriven.io/2020/10/26/jacinda-ardern-to-get-all-electric-audi-e-tron-to-replace-diesel-fleet-car/

          The NZ government has ordered three Audi e-trons, which cost $NZ155,500 (before on-road costs) in long-range ’55’ format, and are being prepared to serve the highest state-level duties.

          Two of these will serve to shuttle ministers between Wellington Airport and the government’s parliament, fondly known as the Beehive, while the third with baby seat will be placed in service in Ardern’s home town of Auckland.

          • alwyn 12.3.1.1.1

            The Auckland car is the personal vehicle for the PM's private use. I imagine Clarke is the main user.

            John Key chose a Suzuki Swift for his car at one stage. That was only about a $20,000 cost to the taxpayer. Don't know whether there were other models during his term.

            They might have a couple of Ioniqs, or Audis, but there are still an awful lot of CR plate BMW 730D cars around Wellington and CR1 is a BMW still.

            • arkie 12.3.1.1.1.1

              John Key chose a Suzuki Swift for his car at one stage. That was only about a $20,000 cost to the taxpayer.

              [citation needed]

              • alwyn

                I can't find a link for this. The best I can find in a link to an interview with Marcus Lush in 2011. The Audio doesn't seem to exist though. The topic came up, and surprised the reporters at the time but key said it was because Stephie was learning to drive and it was a good car for that.

                https://www.magic.co.nz/John-Key-owns-a-Suzuki-Swift/tabid/506/articleID/19787/Default.aspx

                All the Ministers get a self drive car. Anette King's was probably the most notorious when it was in a crash and the driver had illegal drugs.

                • Sacha

                  Perhaps he got us to fund a self-drive Swift for his daughter's driving lessons? While he was using the limo, as you'd expect of a PM.

                  Reminding me of Bill English's accommodation and housecleaning rorts. No wonder they think beneficiaries are all trying to rip us off.

            • Sacha 12.3.1.1.1.2

              The Auckland car is the personal vehicle for the PM's private use. I imagine Clarke is the main user.

              Link for that claim?

              • alwyn

                No. However these vehicles are self drive cars. It is based in Auckland and I imagine that Clarke spends more time there than does Jacinda. She does, after all, have a limo available at all times and certainly if I were in her job I wouldn't want to bother driving myself. From my observation the back of a limo is where all the Ministers do most of their telephone calls.

                Why waste valuable time driving yourself when you can get on with the work you are employed for?

                • Sacha

                  Where do you get the idea they are self-drive?

                  Shuttling between the airport and the beehive is no such thing. The PM also has way too much to do these days to be wasting her time driving, as you say.

                  • alwyn

                    I should actually have said "that vehicle" rather than "these vehicles" I was talking about the third one in the quote rather than the two based in Wellington.

                    • Sacha

                      Again, where do you get the idea it is self-drive?

                    • alwyn

                      Because it came up when that Yank talk show guy Colbert was entertained here at taxpayer expense to do a show on Ardern.

                      Remember? She picked him up at the airport.

                    • Sacha

                      Sigh. https://www.caradvice.com.au/895516/new-zealand-prime-minister-adds-to-her-electric-car-fleet/

                      New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is poised to switch to electric power for her ministerial car, from a BMW 7 Series diesel to an Audi e-Tron.

                      While the NZ government is about to take delivery of three Audi e-Trons for high-ranking politicians and VIP guests, two are expected to be based in the capital Wellington (in the far south of the North Island) – and at least one example is planned to be assigned to Auckland (650km away, in the far north) at Ms Ardern’s home alongside her personal vehicle, a Hyundai Ioniq electric car.

                    • Andre

                      The impression you've got the Drumpfian habit of just making shit up is getting stronger again.

                      The Hyundai Ioniq that Ardern drives, including when she chauffered Colbert, appears to be a car she owns, not something supplied by the taxpayer. I've looked and found nothing suggesting it's supplied by the taxpayer, but I've found lots of reference to her owning it – eg:

                      The newly re-elected Labour PM already owns an all-electric Hyundai Ioniq as her personal vehicle,

                      https://thedriven.io/2020/10/26/jacinda-ardern-to-get-all-electric-audi-e-tron-to-replace-diesel-fleet-car/

                      You've also imagined that Clarke will be the main user of the government e-Tron to be based in Auckland. You really need to back that up if you don't want that to stand as an exhibit of "alwyn just making shit up".

                    • Sacha

                      It is OK to get things wrong.

                    • Andre

                      Sure getting things wrong is OK if someone takes a step back and checks their facts and backs up their assertions or corrects as necessary when challenged.

                      But the challenges came a long way upthread, with zero subsequent actual backing up or change in behaviour from alwyn, just more dumping of the same unsubstantiated shit and an occasional diversion.

                    • Sacha

                      Sorry, my last sentence was directed purely at Alwyn. And yes, it is especially OK to admit you got it wrong.

          • Rosemary McDonald 12.3.1.1.2

            $NZ155,500 (before on-road costs)…

            Or they could show true commitment and buy a couple of these…

            https://electricbikesnz.com/2020/10/26/wisper-wayfarer-mid-drive/

            …and use the change to haul a few more kids out of poverty.

      • ianmac 12.3.2

        Oh dammit alwyn. You have uncovered the evil plan. So if there are to be no electric tanks, we had better cancel the whole plan. We could not possibly have a fleet of EV cars if the tanks are not EV also. Better let Jacinda know quickly.

        • alwyn 12.3.2.1

          What a funny little fellow you are. Does the Army actually own any real tanks, apart from the ones in the Museum at Waiouru? I thought they owned vast numbers of APCs but I can't imagine what they would do with a real tank. We probably couldn't afford main battle tanks anyway.

          Actually you can get an electric Hummer although I don't think it is the military version.

          To bad of course if you were out in the desert, had to withdraw in a hurry and the battery in your dinky little military vehicle was flat. I have been told that jeeps in WW2 didn't even have key. If you had to shift in a hurry you didn't want to waste time looking for the key.

    • Chris T 12.4

      This actually surprises me a bit as I always assumed the PMs BMW was the BMW spec custom armored version, like the Aussie PM's one (and a lot of other countries leaders with those models of BMWs).

      Which would be pretty hard to kit with an electric replacement, purely by weight.

      Interesting that they presumably drive round in standard.

      Not many countries leaders could make that claim I would imagine.

  13. Sacha 13

    Wondered where the noise was coming from today.

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