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Open mike 03/08/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 3rd, 2022 - 84 comments
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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 …

84 comments on “Open mike 03/08/2022 ”

  1. PsyclingLeft.Always 1

    National Party MP Jacqui Dean to retire at 2023 election

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/128704137/national-party-mp-jacqui-dean-to-retire-at-2023-election

    National MPs Ian McKelvie, David Bennett to stand down at 2023 election

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/471619/national-mps-ian-mckelvie-david-bennett-to-stand-down-at-2023-election

    Brownlee has stood in the Christchurch electorate of Ilam at each election since he entered Parliament in 1996

    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/brownlee-wont-contest-ilam-election-hints-speaker

    The rats (ratfuckers ? : ) leaving the sinking ship.

    As an aside,when I read Brownlee..I saw : Ilam since 18…..96. Bully Boofy Brownlee since Ages

    • Lol. Newshub as a reliable source of unbiassed news? The Fox News of NZ.

      It's typical of the simplistic attitude of rwnj: a few payments go amiss – so what? But what about the 1.3 million or so payments that didn't, that have helped those struggling.

      I'd much sooner that happened than we gift $11 million to a 'Saudi sheep farmer!' Or waste $26 million on a vanity flag referendum.

      • Barfly 2.1.1

        My reckons – it would have cost a shit load more and would have created major delays to have reduced the error rate. Which is why it was done this way.

        • Descendant Of Smith 2.1.1.1

          I'm looking forward to his insistence that the public be provided with a list of those who received money in the bailout of South Canterbury finance, the date they invested their money and an explanation of why interest was paid out when it was only supposed to be the original deposit.

          Who benefitted and by how much? Who knew interest was going to be paid out? Who invested late with maximum investments in each of their family members names?

          The hard working tax payers should know who.

  2. Sacha 3

    Giving vaccine denialism a platform has a cost.

    • Rosemary McDonald 3.1

      Sacha…a reply to you at 5. The reply button didn't work.

      • Incognito 3.1.1

        Your reply @ 5 is irrelevant to Sacha’s about vaccine denialism. The authors don’t question let alone deny the important positive role vaccines have:

        While COVID-19 vaccines have had a profound impact on decreasing global morbidity and mortality burdens, …

        Your reply is also redundant because “population-wide mandatory vaccine policies” have ended in NZ and are now obsolete for all intents and purposes.

        • Rosemary McDonald 3.1.1.1

          With all due respect, my response to Sacha's post is pertinent.

          The authors also state…

          Such policies may lead to detrimental long-term impacts on uptake of future public health measures, including COVID-19 vaccines themselves as well as routine immunizations.

          And just as the authors predicted…routine immunization rates have plummeted.

          ttps://www.rnz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/471798/low-vaccination-rates-prompt-fears-of-severe-measles-outbreak

          Why do you think this is?

          “population-wide mandatory vaccine policies” have ended in NZ and are now obsolete for all intents and purposes.

          The damage done persists…and our public health institutions need to address this and move heaven and earth to restore trust.

          • Drowsy M. Kram 3.1.1.1.1

            …our public health institutions need to address this and move heaven and earth to restore trust.

            They’re not perfect, but I trust NZ public health institutions – always have, always will (touch wood).

            Rosemary, could you outline what actions our public health institutions could take to restore your trust? Ideally these actions wouldn’t undermine my abiding trust – I could give you feedback in that regard.

            Note that I'm all for increased funding of public health services, including any increase in general taxation needed to maintain and improve services.

          • Incognito 3.1.1.1.2

            What, in your opinion, should vaccine deniers do to restore trust and repair the damage they have caused, including many avoidable preventable deaths? This was the point of Sacha’s comment, but you insist on going off tangent and divert to your own hobby horse, as usual. Sacha’s comment did not mention anything about mandates or any of the other pet points you love to rant about here on TS.

            As to your measles link, the answer(s) to your question is in there and it has nothing to do with Covid, at least not as you’d hope. In fact, they seem to think that the Covid-19 pandemic may actually help boost vaccination numbers. You didn’t read the article you linked to, did you? Because your premise has no basis in it!!

            • Rosemary McDonald 3.1.1.1.2.1

              What, in your opinion, should vaccine deniers do to restore trust and repair the damage they have caused, including many avoidable preventable deaths?

              For heaven's sake. Get a grip on reality. I'm pretty sure we did this back in the Beforetimes when we had a measles out break here and in Samoa.

              https://www.nowtolove.co.nz/health/body/anti-vaxxers-immunisation-measles-epidemic-likely-nikki-turner-42195

              Immunisation expert: 'Anti vaxxers are not the problem, we knew a measles epidemic was likely'

              "There's a lot of young to mid-life adults walking around who didn't get fully vaccinated when they were young… people weren't reminded," she says.

              Anti-vaxxers are not the reason for Auckland's measles epidemic, an immunisation expert claims.

              "The major problem is there's a lot of young to mid-life adults walking around who didn't get fully vaccinated when they were young," says Immunisation Advisory Centre head and GP Dr Nikki Turner.

              Dr Turner's comments come as the number of confirmed cases of measles in New Zealand hits a new high of 937 – 804 of them in Auckland – and New Zealander of the Year Dr Lance O'Sullivan is calling for those who choose not to vaccinate to be penalised with a 'no jab, no pay' welfare system and tax policy.

              But Dr Turner says Dr O'Sullivan is baying for the wrong blood, and that it's the health system that's at fault for not running a tighter national immunisation programme.

              "Only a very small percentage of the New Zealand population is totally opposed to immunisation, and there's another three to four per cent who have a lot of fears. And to them, I'd say go and talk to a trusted health professional about what your fears are.

              Well…O'Sullivan had his 'no jab no pay' wet dream come true…didn't he?

              And you must remember…or not… this…

              https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/391340/baby-deaths-caused-by-incorrect-vaccination-procedure-samoa-health-ministry-confirms … and the resultant moratorium placed on further vaccines by the Samoan government until the shit was sorted ?

              No ?

              As you were then, with the lazy slurs. Do the work ffs…its not as simple as 'Anti vaxers kill people!!!".

              And while you focus on just the one 'cause', the real issues compound.

              • Incognito

                As per the tweet in Sacha’s comment:

                … and now we’ve brought back smallpox, tuberculosis and polio.

                Where does it say anything about measles, in 2019???????

                Your pathetic argument basically is that anti-vaxxers were not thought to have played a part in the measles epidemic in NZ in 2019 and therefore anti-vaxxers have not played a role in bringing back smallpox, tuberculosis and polio and New York State in 2022.

                You really seem to have trouble focussing and staying on topic.

                You really can’t avoid simplistic binaries and false dichotomies.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  I am having a problem trying to find evidence that 'vaccine denialism' is the cause of outbreaks of polio, tuberculosis and smallpox (in the US?)….as per the expert whose tweet Sacha so kindly shared with us …for what purpose I am not sure.

                  https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/polio/hcp/vaccine-derived-poliovirus-faq.html

                  UPDATE: In July 2022, CDC was notified of a case of polio caused by vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (VDPV2) in an unvaccinated individual from Rockland County, New York, and is consulting with the New York State Department of Health on their investigation. Public health experts are working to understand how and where the individual was infected and provide protective measures, such as vaccination services to the community to prevent the spread of polio to under- and unvaccinated individuals.

                  As you can possibly imagine…convincing people that it is necessary to have more polio vaccines to protect against vaccine derived polio would be a big ask.

                  https://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/basics/vaccines.html

                  TB Vaccine (BCG)

                  Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) disease. This vaccine is not widely used in the United States. However, it is often given to infants and small children in other countries where TB is common. BCG does not always protect people from getting TB.

                  https://www.cdc.gov/smallpox/vaccine-basics/who-gets-vaccination.html

                  Who Should Get Vaccination

                  After smallpox was eliminated from the world, routine vaccination against smallpox among the general public was stopped because it was no longer needed. However, because of concern that variola virus might be used as an agent of bioterrorism, the U.S. government has stockpiled enough smallpox vaccine to vaccinate everyone who would need it if a smallpox outbreak were to occur.

                  When there is NO smallpox outbreak, you should get the smallpox vaccine if you:

                  • Are a lab worker who works with virus that causes smallpox or other viruses that are similar to it.

                  If you need long-term protection, you may need to get booster vaccinations regularly. To stay protected from smallpox, you should get booster vaccinations every 3 years.

                  When there IS a smallpox outbreak, you should get the smallpox vaccine if you:

                  • Are directly exposed to smallpox virus. For example, if you had a prolonged face-to-face contact with someone who has smallpox.

                  If there is a smallpox outbreak, public health officials will say who else should get the vaccine. CDC works with federal, state, and local officials to prepare for a smallpox outbreak.

                  I'm guessing Sacha's expert is perhaps a little confused. It was, as we all know by now, the erroneous claim that there was an association between the measles component in the MMR vaccine and autism that led to some parents not having their kids vaccinated with the MMR shot. Had the authorities allowed the administration of separate measles, mumps and rubella vaccines, appropriately spaced out, the problem might have been mitigated.

                  Instead…the US has instituted some of the most stringent childhood vaccine mandates in the world. Silly tactic really. The more you screw people down, forcing them to do stuff to their children with minimally obvious positive returns….you're going to get pushback.

    • mauī 3.2

      Vaccine denialism didn't start this… Vaccine propaganda did.

  3. Sanctuary 4

    I am a patreon of Richard Seymour and his recent email seems relevant when I think about the absolute bovine glee of the media pile on over the cost of living payment in the last 48 hours and the denial by some of the right wing trolls here it represented a fundamentally right wing world view on the part of our MSM.

    I'll post an excerpt here, I can't link obviously because, you know, patreon and if you want to read his stuff you should subscribe and support him:

    "…Does this bring us back to my assertion – scarcely a claim now, more a statement-of-the-obvious – that there is a fascist potential lurking in modern liberal technoculture? Most of what I'm thinking of is just philistinism, commercial and political cynicism, and media stupidity, which certainly tends conservative. It is conservative in its incredulity toward critical thinking, militancy and change. It is conservative in its astonishment that anyone isn't philistine, cynical and stupid. It is conservative in its assimilation of the democratic public sphere as a universal PR exercise, in which no fundamental distinction can be found between fascists and democrats, pathological lying and honesty, accuracy and nonsense, because everything is a self-maximising strategy. It is conservative in its bottom-line aversion toward, and suppression of, accidental outbreaks of intelligence. It is conservative in its underlying nihilism and simultaneous passionate commitment to a status quo, and to the sentimental mores that uphold it, that it assumes to be hollow…"

    Well said, Mr. Seymour.

  4. Rosemary McDonald 5

    There have been actual academic papers published about how some of the public health measures deployed over the past nearly three years might have had a negative effect…population wise.

    This one has been around for a while, and I'm sure will command greater respect than others because it is, in part, funded by Big Pharma and their allies.

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4022798

    The Unintended Consequences of COVID-19 Vaccine Policy: Why Mandates, Passports, and Segregated Lockdowns May Cause more Harm than Good

    While COVID-19 vaccines have had a profound impact on decreasing global morbidity and mortality burdens, we argue that current population-wide mandatory vaccine policies are scientifically questionable, ethically problematic, and misguided. Such policies may lead to detrimental long-term impacts on uptake of future public health measures, including COVID-19 vaccines themselves as well as routine immunizations. Restricting people’s access to work, education, public transport, and social life based on COVID-19 vaccination status impinges on human rights, promotes stigma and social polarization, and adversely affects health and wellbeing. Mandating vaccination is one of the most powerful interventions in public health and should be used sparingly and carefully to uphold ethical norms and trust in scientific institutions. We argue that current COVID-19 vaccine policies should be reevaluated in light of negative consequences that may outweigh benefits. Leveraging empowering strategies based on trust and public consultation represent a more sustainable approach for protecting those at highest risk of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality and the health and wellbeing of the public.

    It might be worth downloading and reading the entire paper. Or not.

    The thing is Sacha…some of us were following the uptake of the Pfizer and Moderna products as they were rolled out in late December 2020. Initially, there was great enthusiasm and providers could barely keep up with demand.

    The demand for the second shot was markedly less…and before long 'incentives' (more like bribes) were deployed to encourage greater uptake. Mandates…which amount to force when a person's ability to financially support themselves and their family is threatened…were brought in and….

    ….public and political discourse has normalised
    stigma against people who remain unvaccinated, often
    woven into the tone and framing of media articles. 60
    Political leaders singled out the unvaccinated, blaming
    them for: the continuation of the pandemic; stress
    on hospital capacity; the emergence of new variants;
    driving transmission to vaccinated individuals; and the
    necessity of ongoing lockdowns, masks, school closures
    and other restrictive measures (see table 2). Political
    rhetoric descended into moralising, scapegoating, and
    blaming using pejorative terms and actively promoting
    stigma and discrimination as tools to increase vaccina-
    tion. This became socially acceptable among pro- vaccine
    groups, the media and the public at large, who viewed
    full vaccination as a moral obligation…

    This paper does not focus on the injuries suffered by a small but obviously significant number of the mRNA 'vaccine' recipients which some of us believe is the reason for the marked drop off of uptake between the first and second shot and the second shot and the boosters. No one in officialdom will discuss this in other than dismissive terms. However…not the point of this very important paper.

    What it does importantly highlight is the non- sterilizing nature of these products and the unreasonableness of population wide roll outs and the ensuing harm to people's confidence in public health authorities. The vaccine was going to provide herd immunity. It didn't. The vaccine was going to prevent infection and transmission and reduce viral load. It doesn't. Yet the mandates were rolled out and have persisted.

    The paper also highlights the failure to recognize the value of naturally acquired immunity .

    Despite clear evidence that infection- derived immu-
    nity provides significant protection from severe disease
    on par with vaccination
    , 18 31 prior infection status has
    consistently been underplayed. Many individuals with
    post- infection immunity have been suspended or fired
    from their jobs (or pushed to leave) or been unable to
    travel or participate in society 31 56–59 while transmission
    continued among vaccinated individuals in the work-
    place.

    Some of us looked at the data from around the world, did our own risk/benefit analysis and chose not to partake of the Pfizer product. We have instituted immune supportive measures (which MSM label 'anti-vax'), had Covid, got better. According to the studies we can assume relatively good protection from serious illness when we encounter future coronaviruses. And we are contributing to herd immunity.

    Sacha. You are, more than most around here, perfectly capable of reading extensively on a subject and gaining wider nuance than can be gleaned from a tweet.

    You have a working knowledge of the power of messaging. But you also know the value of lived experience….that applies very much with this issue. Please take the time to read this…perhaps watch the zoom discussion between various experts. Not all are in total agreement…but it definitely marks an 'oh shit what have we done' moment.

    • Barfly 5.1

      Well tomorrow is 6 months since my booster – and I will be happily lining up for my 4th dose of vaccine and be bloody thankful for the government's and scientific community's efforts in creating and providing this vaccine to me. smiley

      • Rosemary McDonald 5.1.1

        Well done Barfly!

        But that is not the point of the paper.

        The point of the paper…supported by very many well referenced sources…is saying that the way many countries managed Covid (including NZ) and the roll out of the 'vaccines' has been somewhat of a disaster.

        With respect to ongoing confidence in Public Health institutions general and standard, routine immunisations in particular.

        But hey…you're all fine and dandy, and that's all that matters. Eh?

        • Drowsy M. Kram 5.1.1.1

          Imho it is regrettable that NZ (449) is poised to overtake Australia (458) in the 'Deaths/1M pop' metric, but then we do have a slightly lower vaccination rate.

          67% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
          12.35 billion doses have been administered globally, and 6.83 million are now administered each day.
          Only 19.9% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.

          At least our per capita COVID-19 death rate remains less than a fifth of many other wealthy countries (e.g. UK, USA, Belgium, Italy, Spain, France). Hopefully the factors contributing to the current rapid rise will all come out in the wash.

          https://covid19.govt.nz/

        • Barfly 5.1.1.2

          "But hey…you're all fine and dandy, and that's all that matters. Eh?"

          Sigh sarcasm huh?

          63, diabetes, severe hypertension and a genetic lung condition

          Yes I am bloody thankful for the government's and scientific community's efforts in creating and providing this vaccine to me.

          I hope you aren't suggesting someone such as I shouldn't get vaccinated.

          • Rosemary McDonald 5.1.1.2.1

            I hope you aren't suggesting someone such as I shouldn't get vaccinated.

            Of course not.

            But I am being told that I have to take the vaccine whether I want it or need it.

            And as the paper states…it doesn't stop transmission so the mandates are not justifiable.

            And bullying the entire population to take the shots is resulting in people losing trust in Public health institutions.

            • RedLogix 5.1.1.2.1.1

              About four months ago I mentioned here that I had just has an emergency MRI scan for the sudden onset of a neurological problem. It has taken a while to discover what the formal diagnosis is. It is not a good one.

              Today a specialist immunologist told me point blank that it was almost certainly the consequence of COVID vaccination.

              Fuck 'safe and effective'.

              • swordfish

                Oh Shit, sorry to hear that, mate.

                • RedLogix

                  Thanks.

                  It is what it is and it could be a lot worse. I just gained another reason not to be complacent about life yes

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    A very close female friend, 30 years old and an early receiver of the Pfizer product….keen to be able to see parents overseas, and with contacts in the system…developed severe heart issues…typical myo/pericarditis with pain and tachycardia dizzines and shortness of breath. She was told it was anxiety. Eventually got to see a specialist privately and was Holter monitored. Nothing conclusive. Of course she did not get the SOP for myocarditis …blood test for troponins and an echocardiograph. This was April/May 2020. It took until December 2020 and the death of Rory Nairn for the PTB to issue a 'You'd better start taking this shit seriously' notice.

                    Anyhoo…I was set the task of finding out what it could be and what to do about it. Ms. Googler, that's me. I entered her symptoms into the google and this site was on the first page. If any one was actually writing a text book of what weird shit an happen after the Pfizer shot her would be in it. This site was on the first page…and there was a commnet from another Kiwi who had done exactly what I had done and found themselves on that page. I never commented…but read page after page of the most heartbreaking 'I wish the hell I'd never had the fucking shot' stories.

                    https://vestibular.org/forum/dizziness/covid-19-vaccine-side-effects/

                    The first entry was January 2021. Many have neuro issues…on top of pre-existing vestibular dysfunction.

                    My girl is one of four people I know who had similar issues. None of them reported to CARM because they were told it was in their head. None of them will have another shot and none of them will willingly take another mRNA vaccine until the safety of same is proven.

                    At least one of them would kill before letting their mokos get 'vaccinated'.

                    I remember you telling us about your scare RL. Thanks for sharing…seriously. In the months ahead it is going to be vital for us to be willing to speak up about these issues, even in the face of derision and disbelief.

                    Australia has a vaccine injury program…no? Will you be able to make a claim?

                    All the best.

              • Muttonbird

                Could you please link to the website of this specialist immunologist? It is hard to believe a medical professional would diagnose your neurological problem as a consequence of vaccine harm. Are specialist immunologists even qualified to read MRI scans?

                Reason I ask is that for some years you have been undermining government responses to the pandemic by introducing unfounded and weak theories to the discussion for cowed, ultra conservative ideological purposes.

                If you are going to claim personal experience to the antivax cause, surely you must back it up with believable references…

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  I sympathise with RL – had two MRI scans in NZ (and one in the UK) for a sudden-onset neurological problem – scary, but treated by our wonderful public health service (Wellington Hosp.) It's been more than 20 years since the corrective brain surgery, and I haven't needed a revision yet. Thanks to the surgical team, and consensus medical opinion then, and now.

                  Over the last year, however, I have been finding it difficult to lose weight. Is this a known side-effect of Comirnaty – do I have a case?

                • weka

                  You're stepping over a line here. You can express scepticism, but please don't start probing people's personal health issues.

                  I don't have an opinion about the vax connection, I can think of a number of ways that an immunologist would be qualified to express such an opinion eg they're part of a team reviewing cases in a hospital, or the neurologist sent them the notes from the MRI and the neurology consult, and so on.

              • Ad

                I missed this apologies Red.

                You are a legend and I wish you all strength and power.

      • Patricia Bremner 5.1.2

        Yes Barfly, and wear a mask smiley

      • Jilly Bee 5.1.3

        Me too Barfly, am about to go out to organise my second booster. I'm OK with the vaccine regime despite having a relatively mild dose of Covid back in late March, which agrivated my previously very mild atrial fibrillation with a rather unpleasant few hours with the usual effects of AF. I was roundly told off when my Health team phoned me the next day to see how I was faring and how I should have called an Ambulance. Who knows I may have had to wait until the AF had abated before said Ambulance arrived!! I now sport a Medic Alert bracelet and have added an anticoagulant to my daily list of meds and the AF is back under control again.

    • foreign waka 5.2

      All good and nice but the majority of deaths occur with the main cause being a bacterial infection of any sort. When the body is weak on defences antibiotic medicines are used. This is a tricky field as most people know as resistance is build by those bacteria and science has worked to have more effective antibiotics developed. Except….they did not do that over the last 15 or more years. The reason: of cause money. Funny that. An industry as the likes of Pfizer etc are saying they have no money to develop a better variant. If nothing is done in the next few years we have to brace ourselves for many many deaths. Far more than covid ever has caused.

      https://pharmaceutical-journal.com/article/news/urgent-need-for-new-antibiotics-to-tackle-antimicrobial-resistance-says-who

      https://www.reactgroup.org/news-and-views/news-and-opinions/year-2021/the-world-needs-new-antibiotics-so-why-arent-they-developed/

  5. Anne 6

    It looks like the logical, straight forward and sane conclusion as to how Covid 19 was passed on to humans was the correct one after all. Why am I not surprised?

    Mind you, these are the words of the scientists and experts charged with the task of tracing the source of the virus, so some will have difficulty accepting their prognosis. (sarc)

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/explained/300652718/the-siren-has-sounded-scientists-pinpoint-covid19s-origin

    • Rosemary McDonald 6.1

      Well done those scientists!

      Awesome if they have conclusively found The Source of All Our Ills…but such a screaming pity that the waters around finding the source of Te Virus have been well and truly muddied.

      Perhaps beyond redemption.

      The work of a task force commissioned by the Lancet into the origins of covid-19 has folded after concerns about the conflicts of interest of one its members and his ties through a non-profit organisation to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

      Task force chair Jeffrey Sachs, economics professor at Columbia University in New York, told the Wall Street Journal that he had shut down the scientist led investigation into how the covid-19 pandemic started because of concerns about its links to the EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit organisation run by task force member Peter Daszak.1 “A lot is going on around the world that is not properly scrutinized or explained to the public,” Sachs told the newspaper, adding that the task force would broaden its scope to examine transparency and government regulation of risky laboratory research.

      The decision came as evidence continued to accumulate that Daszak had not always been forthright about his research and his financial ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Daszak now faces increased scrutiny from scientists, the media, and members of US Congress.

      Shortly after the pandemic began Daszak led a February 2020 statement in the Lancet alleging that it was a “conspiracy theory” to argue that the pandemic could have started from a laboratory leak in Wuhan. “I have no conflicts of interest,” Daszak later told the Washington Post, regarding his collaboration with Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.4

      But Daszak’s story began falling apart last November when the non-profit group US Right to Know published emails gathered through a freedom of information request that showed he had orchestrated the Lancet statement without disclosing that he was funding Shi Zhengli through grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

      https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2414

      Two of the world's leading medical Journals….shake their heads.

      However…let's not forget that money talks.

      When this groundbreaking research exonerating the Wuhan Lab is in part funded by the same institution that was funding the Wuhan lab to do research on coronaviruses…some understanding is due if not everyone wholeheartedly embraces their conclusion.

      https://www.science.org/content/article/nih-says-grantee-failed-report-experiment-wuhan-created-bat-virus-made-mice-sicker

      An ongoing controversy over what constitutes virology research that is too dangerous to conduct—and whether the U.S government funded studies in China that violated a policy barring funding for such risky research—has taken a new turn. While denying once again it had helped create the virus that sparked the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed in a letter sent yesterday to Republicans in Congress that experiments it funded through a U.S.-based nonprofit in 2018 and 2019 at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China had the “unexpected result” of creating a coronavirus that was more infectious in mice.

      NIH says the organization holding the parent grant, the EcoHealth Alliance, failed to immediately report this result to the agency, as required. A newly released progress report on that grant also shows that EcoHealth and WIV conducted experiments changing the virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), which is raising additional questions.

      • Anne 6.1.1

        "Well done those scientists!"

        Totally agree. We are so lucky to have these exceedingly bright and talented people to guide us through things like pandemics and other health measures which collectively change our lives for the better.

    • Muttonbird 6.2

      The conspiracy theorists will be disappointed, Anne.

      Perhaps drowning their sorrows with horse-paste and Vitamin D cocktails under tin foil umbrellas.

  6. Barfly 7

    OMG ! Unemployment is up! To 3.3%

    Cue "the sky is falling " from the RWNJ's

  7. Jenny how to get there 8

    To the supporters of the Russian Federation's bloody invasion of Ukraine.
    Without naming names, some of you have had the nerve to claim that you are against war and for peace.
    I would like to suggest that rather than the absorbing the pro-war propaganda of bought and paid for liars at RT and regurgitating it here. You need to hear the voice of the people of Ukraine.

    “What does it mean to stop the war? How it should be stopped? There are questions which should be in the center if you want to give a political answer to the challenges Ukrainian society is facing,” Oksana Dutchak

    Supporters of the Russian invasion, (echoing the demands of Russian Federation negotiators), say peace will come if Ukraine gives up and surrenders.

    Putin's internal war against Russian civil society, would argue the opposite, that the war against Ukraine civil society will intensify under conditions of Russian Federation victory and occupation.

    If Putin would do that to his own people what wouldn't he do to a conquered people?

    Genuine anti-war activists know peace will come only with Russian withdrawal back to their internationally recognised legal borders.

    “We, feminists from Ukraine, call on feminists around the world to stand in solidarity with the resistance movement of the Ukrainian people against the predatory, imperialist war unleashed by the Russian Federation. War narratives often portray women as victims. However, in reality, women also play a key role in resistance movements, both at the frontline and on the home front: from Algeria to Vietnam, from Syria to Palestine, from Kurdistan to Ukraine.” Oksana Dutchak

    Ukrainian Feminist: We Need Western Solidarity in Fighting Russian Imperialism

    Democracy Now – July 28, 2022

    ….Western leftists and feminists who have misgivings about Western military support for Ukraine often overlook that Ukrainians are fighting for self-determination and against imperialism.

    ….military support, which, to my extent, is — should go on.

    …..being a Ukrainian leftist and supporting Ukrainian resistance against imperial invasion and the Ukrainian resistance for self-determination of Ukrainian society, I of course find the support necessary.

    …..we tried to get as much support as possible both from Ukrainian feminists but also from international feminist community. And basically, it was a reaction to some problematic, highly problematic, statements by various participants and groups of the mostly Western feminist movement. Explicitly, that was the reaction of one antiwar statement, signed, if I remember correctly, by 150 people, which is called “Against the War,” and it was published in spring, like when the war started. And we found it extremely problematic also in its content, but also by the very fact that it was not signed by a single Ukrainian person. So, we kind of felt that Ukrainian voices, voices of Ukrainian feminists, are basically not represented and not listened to.

    ….the position taken by many on the feminist movement globally, which is that, basically, Ukrainian society either should not resist or — they are using this general notion that war is — militarism and war, in general, is something extremely patriarchal, and we don’t have to do anything with it as feminists. But you can easily state it if you are sitting in some safe place and your life and life of your family and life of your communities is not affected by the war. But if it is affected by the war and if the very existence of these communities and people you relate to is threatened, of course, you cannot say, like, “OK, we just won’t do anything,” and, yeah, just call for stop the war, which doesn’t make sense. This is about an abstract call. What does it mean to stop the war? How it should be stopped?

    …..Ukrainian feminists, Ukrainian left feminists and all the people concerned have the right to resist to the imperial aggression of Russian Federation.

    https://www.democracynow.org/2022/7/28/dutchak_western_solidarity_fight_russian_imperialism?fbclid=IwAR0PnVttmYubn6h7PuHw6cmp9sXd13WUTOq3iChq5yC5PZo8CWUq7UXQ3HM

    • Jenny how to get there 8.1

      As well as the above link to Democracy Now interview with Ukraine leftist feminist Oksana Dutchak, who left Ukraine to escape the war. I liked this article posted by Russian anarchist anti-fascists, who left Russia to go to Ukraine and joined in fighting for Ukraine against the Russian Federation invasion.
      These courageous young Russian anarchists and anti-fascists all speak to the idea that peace will come when the Russian Federation learns to live within its own borders.

      This would represent a fundamental change for Russian society and economics. For the Russian Federation, or any other predatory imperialist power to live within their own borders, the infinite growth model of economics would have to be ditched.

      A lesson for all predatory imperialist powers, encroaching on other countries and the environment.

      “If Putin is brought to heel in this war, it will be a moment of revelation for many” Ilya, anarchist from Russia

      My name is Ilya. I’m an anarchist living in Ukraine. I left Russia a few years back because of the crackdown on the entire anarchist movement…..

      …..Our platoon also has anti-fascist movement members who aren’t anarchists, so I’m going to speak for myself: Putin's invasion is not a war between two states. It’s a war between Putin’s regime and Ukrainian society. In my opinion, the Ukrainian state is corrupt, oligarchic, and neoliberal. I’m not too fond of it. However, Ukrainian society has a lot more freedom and pluralism than its Russian and Belarusian counterparts; than almost all of its neighbors. Turkey is no better than Putin’s Russia, while Poland and Hungary have swayed considerably towards conservatism lately. The Ukrainian state exerts considerably less control over its citizens’ private lives. Since Russia decided to export its authoritarian Mordor-style regime, Ukrainian society needs protection.

      https://theins.ru/en/politics/251492?fbclid=IwAR2t8ivPpZw0cxZLJFZsUEKvJIuxG6Joo3qr0zq0bEApIfjxGvt8BW3fq8M

      • mikesh 8.1.1

        The Ukrainian state exerts considerably less control over its citizens’ private lives.

        If the Ukranian state had exerted greater control over its military this war might have been avoided. When they were warned by Joe Biden that an invasion was immanent the army said "bring it on". No way were they going to allow the government to seek talks; they were going to teach those damned Russians a lesson by chasing them back to Russia with their tails between their legs (um … … with the help of Uncle Sam of course.)

        • Jenny how to get there 8.1.1.1

          mikesh

          3 August 2022 at 3:17 pm

          ….If the Ukranian state had exerted greater control over its military this war might have been avoided. When they were warned by Joe Biden that an invasion was immanent the army said "bring it on".

          "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" Carl Sagan.

          What I am getting thoroughly sick of, are supporters of Putin's bloody invasion and war, like yourself Mikesh, continually making bald statements without the slightest shred of evidence to back it up.

          What's wrong with you?

          • mikesh 8.1.1.1.1

            “What's wrong with you?”

            There's nothing wrong with me, Jenny. I don't support Russia particularly. I simply take an objective view of the situation, and its place in the broader scheme of things. The Ukraine war is a tragedy of course, but I think peace won't come to the Eurasian continent until until its various occupants come together and tell the imperialist, would-be hegemon "Yankee, go home".

        • joe90 8.1.1.2

          .No way were they going to allow the government to seek talks; they were going to teach those damned Russians a lesson by chasing them back to Russia with their tails between their legs (um … … with the help of Uncle Sam of course.)

          Negotiations on Donbas went on for more than seven years, with French and German participation, yet despite signed agreements and a cease-fire, the conflict was never resolved. And talks went on for several months after Russia's imperialist invasion. That didn't stop the war.

          So Ukraine had no option but resist and now the Russian imperialists have their own Vietnam. And like Hồ Chí Minh's people's war*, Zelenskyy's war of corrosion will indeed, dog permit, teach those damned Russians a lesson by chasing them back to Russia with their tails between their legs

          (um … … with the help of Uncle Sam the USSR of course.)*

          • mikesh 8.1.1.2.1

            “{Negotiations on Donbas} went on for more than seven years, with French and German participation, yet despite signed agreements and a cease-fire, the conflict was never resolved. And talks went on for several months after Russia's imperialist invasion. That didn't stop the war.”

            That was probably because the aims of the two sides were at odds. I notice the USA did not participate in the negotiations. When Biden realised that an invasion was at foot he should have attempted to bring the parties to the negotiating table instead of just blathering on about it. But he preferred to egg the Ukranians on, promising US assistance if they resisted.

            • joe90 8.1.1.2.1.1

              .No way were they going to allow the government to seek talks

              I notice the USA did not participate in the negotiations.

              //

  8. Just watched Luxon turn up, once again, with a knife for a gunfight! Predictably, he scored no shots. QT in the house.

    The man simply cannot think on his feet. He reads his questions from a prepared list, and merely gives Jacinda a platform for shouting her government's achievements.

  9. Anker 10

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/opinion-youre-not-in-guatemala-now-minister-little/ZAV25HG7Z6IKZAYL4ZECZOSLWY/

    Witty, but possibly true for Joe Bennett on Andrew Littles attempt to recruit nurses using Shortland Street. (the nurses union and their members seem unimpressed).

    TBH I hope it works. But lets hear how much the add/s cost. Bet the people who make them earn far more than our nurses.

    Litlle does seem more and more out of touch. As Joe Bennet says young people are unlikely to watch SS.

    • Rosemary McDonald 10.1

      Costs?

      https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/shortland-st-nursing-campaign-funding-stay-secret

      It'd be nice if they are too embarrassed to say how much this batshit craziness is going to cost us.

      Labour has plumbed new depths with this one.

      • Stuart Munro 10.1.1

        It does show that their commitment to neoliberal norms is greater than their commitment to a robust public health system.

        At the minimum, the mystery bonus paid to recruit offshore nurses should also be paid to those who take the trouble and expense to train locally. Unless a two-tier system replete with cultural cringe is somehow desirable.

        • Belladonna 10.1.1.1

          Yep. It would make a nice graduation bonus for locally trained talent.

        • Incognito 10.1.1.2

          What ‘mystery bonus’ are you talking about?

          https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/government-plan-boost-health-workers

          • Stuart Munro 10.1.1.2.1

            Yes, that one.

            Locally qualified staff have costs too.

            Generally speaking, the concern of government is the welfare and prosperity of their own citizens – not that such a principle could be derived from the Brownian motions of opposed administrations and a Treasury staffed by Brash appointees = so far-right it's amazing they haven’t fallen off their flat earth.

            • Incognito 10.1.1.2.1.1

              Two different issues: 1) lower the threshold for overseas registrants; 2) make conditions better for all nurses registered in NZ. The idea is that many (?) overseas applicants will stay on and become residents and some possibly even citizens, eventually. Not as B&W as some seem to want to see it.

              • Stuart Munro

                It's a continuation of what may fairly be characterized as the recolonization of New Zealand.

                Little ought to know better – the job is to let our people succeed, not bring in uncle Tom Cobbly and all. We've had it taken to extremes over the last three decades, pumped our population up by close to a million (that's about 5x the per capita rate that drove the Brexit debacle in the UK) without so much as a by your leave. And these have included property speculators, slave ship operators, wage thieves and phone scammers, to name a few.

                Black & white? What is Little on? Besides an undeserved salary & benefits?

                • Incognito

                  Our people cannot succeed if they’re not healthy and not being nursed back to health. Our people would like to travel and gain overseas work experiences. AL’s salary & benefits are irrelevant.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Pah!

                    Let's just rebuild a colonial economy because 'our' lords and masters are too lazy and frankly cowardly to do better.

                    Let's bring in yet another tranche of migrants as a short term fix as we have, without benefit to NZ at large, for the last thirty years.

                    This time it'll be different, right?

                    Little can go forth & multiply.

    • Incognito 10.2

      Hasn’t the NZ Taxpayer forked out hundreds of millions over the years on numerous film deals to promote NZ tourism? And it worked: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolkien_tourism.

      A bit of out-of-the-box thinking by our Government is fine with me as long as I don’t have to watch it on the box.

      • Herodotus 10.2.1

        Perhaps Shortland at could have a story how Little screwed the nurses and other health workers regarding pay rates and working conditions ? Union action to replicate reality as agreed conditions on pay equity from the 2017pay round has not been adhered to?

        • gsays 10.2.1.1

          Dr DooLittle is becoming a common refrain in the staffrooms.

        • Incognito 10.2.1.2

          Start your crowd funding now!

        • Muttonbird 10.2.1.3

          Shortland Street producers and writers certainly would not be afraid of pursuing this story line, if that's what you mean. It is quite topical, and what they are known for is sensitivity and response to contemporary societal drivers.

          That is why it is so popular and that is why we need local content such as Shortland Street. If you vote for ACT that is a vote for destroying the local film and TV industry. ACT are anti-culture and would likely finish off all domestic screen entertainment.

    • Belladonna 10.3

      Agree. No one in the 20-something age group (with whom I'm acquainted via family, work or social connections) watches channel TV at all. They watch, if at all, using on-demand services. And soaps are for the 40+ age group.

      It probably won't do much harm – but is unlikely to do much good.

      But Bennett is right on the money with this quote:

      But it will all be meaningless and amount to zero, if nothing changes for the nurses themselves and if they still feel under-appreciated, under-valued and taken for granted by the Government and the health system.

    • gsays 10.4

      I figure the SS idea it has worked well for them, it is a distraction from the relationship Dr Doolittle has with his workforce.

      The good ole immigration tap, solves so many neo-liberal problems.

    • Muttonbird 10.5

      Bet the people who make them earn far more than our nurses.

      It's like any operational structure.

      In the screen industry some executives; producers, creators, designers and directors, are well paid.

      Some management; supervisors, gaffers, key grips, art directors, are reasonably well paid.

      And some workers; make up, costume, grip, lighting, locations, and catering are paid averagely.

      Entry level is paid poorly.

      I suggest the screen industry is paid no better or worse than the health sector. I also think using Shorty to promote to locals nursing as a profession and using TVNZ's marketing arm (Blacksand) to do it is a great idea.

      What if young people tend not to watch Shorty? Their parents might do and they are the ones directing them through early life.

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