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Open mike 03/10/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 3rd, 2020 - 78 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 …

78 comments on “Open mike 03/10/2020 ”

  1. Stuart Munro 1

    Long form article on the Pacific orchard workers, the so-called RSEs.

    Oddly, they never become eligible for residence, unlike 4th tier "language students". It's not blackbirding of course – plus ca change 🙁 .

  2. Andre 2

    Jaeezzzusss, around America's Number One Crime Family, even women are nasty-ass sexual predators.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8796579/Kimberly-Guilfoyle-left-Fox-News-female-assistant-accused-host-sexual-misconduct.html

  3. Andre 3

    Covid may end up slowing down Barrett getting rammed through onto the SCOTUS. But it won't stop it. Even if it's delayed the Repugs will still have plenty of time after the election in the lame duck period and every incentive to make sure it happens and zero incentive to back off.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/mike-lee-covid-supreme-court-hearing-amy-coney-barrett_n_5f775beec5b6d4e948b523fb

    • weka 3.1

      even if the Dems win?

      • Andre 3.1.1

        Yep. There's no law stopping them, and even a law wouldn't stop them trying.

        The only reasons for them not to do it would be respect for the will of the American people, personal integrity, or principle. They have all given plentiful proof that they have precisely zero of any of those attributes, that the only thing that animates their dead-brained zombie carcasses is the exercise of power.

        • Sacha 3.1.1.1

          Don't they want it before the election as insurance?

          • Andre 3.1.1.1.1

            The practical reality is current sitting senators hold their seats and retain all their powers until noon on January 3, 2021. So they can confirm Barrett at any time up until then.

            Politically, it's arguable whether they're better off confirming Barrett before or after the election. Any backlash for underhandedly confirming Barrett after the election is two or four years away for those senators not up for election, and by then the election is over and a done deal for those running this year.

            If they do it before the election, then yes, they've "delivered" for their base. But then they also have nothing left to offer to those that are otherwise disgusted with them but would nevertheless stick with them in order to get reactionary judges appointed.

            • Sacha 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Don't they need her in place beforehand to help throw the election? Hanging chads and all that..

              • Andre

                They've already got 5-3 for that. Going to 6-3 is just gilding the lily.

                • Sacha

                  How was RBG stopping adverse rulings then?

                  • Andre

                    What adverse rulings are you referring to that RBG stopped?

                    In recent 5-4 rulings, Roberts has been the deciding swing vote. But you can be damn sure that Roberts would vote in favour of throwing the election to the Repugs if there were any possible way to do it.

                  • SPC

                    At 5-4, Gorsuch or Roberts could decide matters in a non partisan way.

                    At 5-3 they could make it a 4-4 tie.

                    At 6-3 they would need to agree to block the GOP/partisans.

                    If Breyer is replaced, then even together they could not block the conservative GOP appointees deciding matters.

                    The Democrat Party need a POTUS and a Democrat majority on the Senate to appoint Garland and another to make a 11 seat SCOTUS. It would have a 6-5 GOP appointed majority, equivalent to the 5-4 one it would have been if they had confirmed Garland in 2016.

                    But Biden says he will not do this and thus allow Mad Mitch to get his way, no wonder he has friends across the aisle.

    • SPC 3.2

      People like Susan Collins only win their Senate seats by posing as anti-Republican conservative positions from time to time.

      Fortunately for her and the GOP her vote is not required for the appointment to go ahead. So it makes no difference when the vote is held – so she will try and win the Senate seat in Nov by saying she is against another conservative pick for SCOTUS.

      For mine if her vote was required they would delay until after the election to allow her vote to get Barrett through without any electoral consequences.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    So the powerbrokers are all Maori, eh?

    Had I disappeared off-grid to live in a cave 10 weeks ago – and don’t think I wasn’t tempted – then returned last night to the Newshub “powerbrokers” debate, I’d have confidently told you this: Winston Peters, perched on the far-left stool, beaming above his immaculate white-spotted tie, is heading back to parliament… Here he was relaxed, quick, funny, grinning – he appeared not to have a worry in the world https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/02-10-2020/winston-peters-looked-like-a-man-transformed-at-the-newshub-debate/

    Te ao Māori was present throughout – not just because of the questions, and not just because Tamihere and Davidson worked hard to raise kaupapa at every turn, but also because every candidate on the stage was Māori. Tamihere afterwards scoffed at that characterisation, though, saying that not everyone could, like him, be called a “practising Māori”.

    Between them, the warhorse pair of Peters and JT were great entertainment. It was as if they had been sitting beside each other on those stools forever. A mix of banter, back slapping…

    Tamihere told Peters to his face that he was “the biggest handbrake on the Māori renaissance … of all politicians”. Peters retorted that the people who sailed the Pacific to populate Aotearoa had the wherewithal to lift themselves up without the nannying state.

    Does seem significant, this evidence of Māori renaissance. How many of the four will function as powerbrokers post-election is a pertinent question. Volatility in the polls with two weeks to go suggests potential for someone to get a shift happening…

    • Sacha 4.1

      Polling trends are pretty clear. Nobody is going to be a powerbroker.

      • Dennis Frank 4.1.1

        Seem clear, but volatility emanates from two sources: fluctuations in the short term amongst those who indicate an intent to pollsters yet change their mind in response to events on the campaign trail, and a separate crowd that don't respond to the pollster request for an indication because they are genuinely undecided.

        This latter lot apparently make up their mind on the day of voting. Given the size of the two crowds combined (20% of the electorate according to one recent media view, and 10-15% according to another, somewhat earlier) it is evident that the margin of error gets totally obliterated if they all vote.

        Statistics tells us that they are most likely to break down along the lines of the portion of the electorate who do give an intent to vote party preference to pollsters. However the nature of volatility is such that campaign events can easily shift them en masse.

        Complexity now being a science, the metaphor of weather shifts due to a butterfly wing flutter in the distance does apply. The electorate is a complex system.

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    I see the idiot/savant has declared his voting intent: "Having the Greens in government is the only way we have a hope in hell of doing that. So, I'm going to hold my nose, and vote for them as the lesser evil – and you should too. But they need to change. Because we deserve something better to vote for than a lesser evil."

    Ah, the lesser evil thesis. So much the default mass psychology of representative democracy. It's hallowed status still has everyone by the balls.

    I'll be voting Green, but for the common good reason. Not with enthusiasm – just a sense of inevitability. Slow learners will get crunched by reality sufficiently to figure it out eventually. Probably after I've passed on. Faith in the Greens withstands the reducing effect of the lack of political competence of those in parliament, because the common cause has more staying power.

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    Nice report from the backwaters of the culture wars:

    My friend and I smoked pot nearly every day of our final year of university. We both graduated with close to A-grade BAs.

    Fast forward 30 years and that friend is now a fulltime naturopath who regularly consumes cannabis chocolates. She says it’s a popular form of therapy among the healthy set. In those three decades I’ve had a successful career, working for high-profile, multi-national companies abroad and running my own business at home for the last 20 years.

    Marijuana has been a constant companion throughout. That said, I seldom smoke these days. After a lot of pot and a 25-year ciggie habit, I look after my health and have taken up the vaporiser instead.

    It’s called the Mighty, made in Germany. Precision engineered, rapid heat-up, variable temperature settings to get the most out of your weed, clear LCD display, excellent battery life, and pocket sized with discrete aesthetics. I’d been off the pot for several years because I was wrangling anxiety, and smoking weed wasn’t helping. But the vaporiser brought the good times back. The Mighty high is lighter, more uplifting. It makes me feel relaxed, cheery and open.

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/02-10-2020/confessions-of-a-high-functioning-middle-aged-dope-smoker/

  7. Graeme 7

    Went to find the location of my most convenient polling booth…..

    You can use this map to find the voting places closest to you.

    We are currently experiencing high demand on the address search function on our map.

    We are working on increasing capacity and will restore this functionality as soon as possible.

    Oh well, scrolled through the map and off to vote…

    • Andre 7.1

      You could be in Texas, where you might have to drive over a hundred miles to drop off your ballot at the one ballot-drop location that serves the hundreds of thousands of people in your county.

      • weka 7.1.1

        how is that anything other than intentional, and why do people put up with it?

        • Andre 7.1.1.1

          It's completely intentional – it was an explicit order by Texas' Repug governor, Greg Abbott. A lot of already installed drop-boxes had to be removed to comply with the order.

          Vote suppression tactics last because they work. They're targeted in ways that don't really inconvenience the supporters of those that benefit from them. Repugs are quite open about the fact that their only chance of remaining widely in power is through successful vote-suppression, so they have to keep doing and their supporters continue to reward them for it.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 7.2

      Damn these first world problems…

    • Sacha 7.3

      Fortunately you can also find a polling place old styles by typing: https://vote.nz/voting/ways-you-can-vote/find-a-voting-place-from-a-list/

      • Rosemary McDonald 7.3.1

        Try applying few filters…say, Northland Electorate, in Kaitaia and accessible venues only…https://vote.nz/voting/ways-you-can-vote/find-a-voting-place-from-a-list/?ElectorateType=General+electorates&Electorate=Northland&Suburb=Kaitaia&isAccessible=1&action_filter=View+voting+places

        Big zero.

        However, undeterred from our quest to exercise our right to an early vote, off we went.

        There are three potential public entrances to the voting room in Te Ahu in Kaitaia and the only one open and guarded by security was the one with the steep steps.

        One of the other possible entrances was accessible by a ramp that would be easily doable by a paralegic…bit of a mission for a quad. That was completely out of bounds.

        The other was a set of double fire exit doors that opened outwards and access involved negotiating a 50 mm edge on the frame. Totally unnecessary as there was already a aluminum ramp fitted…for want of a couple of seconds thought it could have been level entry.

        However. We were admitted into the Inner Sanctum with way too much fuss and bother and with much 'oh, its no trouble really" s (which of course it was) an did our thing. (Social Credit candidate, Green Party vote and a no and a yes…FWIW) (With very little in the way conferring, as couples are wont to do.)

        Repeat of the fuss and bother to get us and the wheelchair out of the room.

        Sadly for the lady struggling with a single crutch…the Keepers of the Inner Sanctum had shut the fire doors and turned their backs and Security made her take the steps.

        I did nae lose it, but I said my piece.

        ...and why do people put up with it indeed.

        • Sacha 7.3.1.1

          What did the 'Accessible voting place' filter produce?

          • Rosemary McDonald 7.3.1.1.1

            Sorry, there are no voting places that match that set of filters.

            However.

            Of the eleven polling booths between Kaitaia and Te Rerenga Wairua only two rather proudly declare " Independent access to and within this building." Both are primary schools and unfortunately not available for early voting.

            The others all rather sheepishly admit "Accessible with assistance. May have step, steep ramp etc. "

            Understandable for Te Hapua perhaps, and maybe Te Kao, but totally unacceptable for a busy metropolis like Kaitaia.

            Of course the wee help elves are more than happy to rush over and give assistance…they are the Guardians of Democracy, right? But they shouldn't have to. Not in 2020 and certainly not in a relatively new and rather awesome community building like Te Ahu.

            http://www.kaitaianz.co.nz/

        • Brigid 7.3.1.2

          "Social Credit candidate, Green Party vote.." 🙂 Yup

          • Rosemary McDonald 7.3.1.2.1

            I've always had a soft spot for Social Credit, and young Brad is a solid , bright and enthusiastic candidate. I met him at a NZ Outdoors Party do, and after we chatted over washing the dishes I was not surprised that he chose a different waka. The Green Party seems to be always on the verge of self-destructing and I very nearly gave another tick to Social Credit. However Darlene Tana Hoff-Nielsen has taken considerable interest in local issues and did attend and support activists at the consent hearings for the most recent water grab from the Te Aupouri aquifer.

  8. greywarshark 8

    There needs to be a Ministry of Employment/Micro Business which helps people get skills and jobs, helps small entrepreneurs, and gets people doing useful stuff onto a payroll so they can keep on doing it.

    Like this:

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/countrylife/audio/2018766647/a-precious-endeavour

    The tall lean Southlander has been living on and off in the bush around the furthest reaches of the inlet in the Marlborough Sounds for about five years now, setting traps and living off the land…
    Apart from a few labouring jobs around about, Gary earns an income by selling possum fur, but lately, that’s been down because of Covid, he says.
    The price was about 25 percent down last time he went in but it hasn't put him off the job because "it's still for a cause."

    Gary feels there should be a bounty for getting all the other pests he gets, like the feral cats, rats and stoats.

    • greywarshark 8.1

      edit
      Here's an enterprising business outside the cafe and bar trade for a change.

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/countrylife/audio/2018766640/meet-the-farming-couple-breeding-leeches-for-nz-hospitals

      And this is one of the diverse directions that will be valuable to the individual learning and the society in terms of balanced interaction on a civilised and friendly level with others.
      https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018765486/top-mma-fighter-starts-mentorship-to-train-young-talent

      [Removed hyperlink that had somehow (?) sneaked into the middle of the word “bar”.]

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      And the last time that was tried the country ended up with people spreading possums around so they wouldn't have to leave home to get the bounty. Trying a failed system again isn't going to make it work any better than the last time it failed.

      Pretty sure I've told you that before.

      • Brigid 8.2.1

        So you're saying they caught the possums from the bush then let them go again so they could catch them closer to home?

        If breeding them is the aim, considering it takes a year from conception to maturity it's hardly worth the trouble.

        Besides the bloody things are everywhere and even if the most accessible are only caught and the bounty claimed it's worth it.

        At present any attempt at growing fruit, vegetables, roses even in any semi rural area is impossible without both fencing and trapping.

        According to this https://teara.govt.nz/en/possums/page-2

        "The first large-scale attempt to control possums was a bounty scheme which ran from 1951 to 1961. Eight million bounties of two shillings and sixpence were paid out for ‘possum tokens’ – the ears and a strip of fur. However, more than 75% of these animals were taken from near farms, picked off roads or caught in other easily accessible places. In the forests, possum numbers continued to grow."

        How did they determined that those for whom the bounty was paid were taken from road kill? Even if possum numbers in forests continued to grow, it's hardly insignificant that numbers from other environments did decrease. I suspect there were other reasons for ceasing the bounty payments.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1.1

          So you're saying they caught the possums from the bush then let them go again so they could catch them closer to home?

          Yes:

          A bounty places a value on the existence of possums. They have been tried before in New Zealand but failed to reduce possum numbers. During the era when bounties were in existence, possum populations continued to expand in Coromandel and Northland as hunters deliberately introduced the pest to those areas in order to have a local population to 'farm'.

          My bold.

          Besides the bloody things are everywhere and even if the most accessible are only caught and the bounty claimed it's worth it.

          I don't think it is. It's simply too labour intensive to be effective at anything other than short range.

          From your link:

          In more accessible areas, hunting reduced possum numbers.

          Traditionally possum fur has been valued for trimming clothes, but since the 1990s prices have been low, forcing hunters out of the industry.

          How did they determined that those for whom the bounty was paid were taken from road kill?

          I suspect listening at the pub as people talked about getting easy money from the government.

  9. Dennis Frank 9

    Bomber was prescient:

    I argued in a Waatea column back in 2014 about how NZs wider political framework could work alongside a Māori Parliament to fulfil our Treaty obligations. I imagine a NZ Parliament Upper House that has 50-50 representation between Maori and Pakeha.

    Having a 50-50 Upper House with the power to delay legislation that was not in the best interests of the Nation when it comes to Treaty issues would stop Government’s from fire sales of national assets and prevent things like the Foreshore and Seabed legislation from becoming law.

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/10/03/waatea-news-column-so-what-does-a-maori-parliament-look-like/

    Too conservative, I reckon. However the principle is validated by the racial partnership ethos, eh? Those for whom Te Tiriti is a handy device for shackling progress will be persuaded.

    Note Bomber's subtle way of demonstrating class solidarity: stop Government’s from fire sales. Signalling that he couldn't pass School C English exhibits solidarity with the working class. Effective tacit psychology and totally pc. Full marks.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      I get so irritated by people who say an upper house is the solution to our political troubles.

      All the evidence from around the world shows that upper houses don't work the way that they want them to work.

      Really want to stop the government from doing stupid stuff? Then go for binding citizens referenda.

      • Uncle Scrim 9.1.1

        Yeah I agree, upper houses are an out of date idea. They can and have provided some useful balance of representation and scrutiny of legislation in countries where they exist, but very few (no?) countries are creating them if they don't have an historic one. It would presumably require a referendum to create and I think the idea of adding more politicians would be hard to sell. And what are the chances of selling an upper house of 50-50 ethnicity via a referendum?

        I’m not convinced by binding citizens referenda – too often reduces complex problems to binary choices. A better answer would possibly be more democracy at local levels?

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1

          They can and have provided some useful balance of representation and scrutiny of legislation in countries where they exist

          True but they've also done the opposite and rushed through bad legislation that the people didn't want. This has been especially true when both houses have been controlled by the same party.

          And what are the chances of selling an upper house of 50-50 ethnicity via a referendum?

          Non-existent.

          I’m not convinced by binding citizens referenda – too often reduces complex problems to binary choices.

          Depends upon how its done. It could be done in a way so that it's not just a binary choice.

          A better answer would possibly be more democracy at local levels?

          One of the reasons why I want to get rid of electorates is so that people have to get involved in local politics. No more running off to the local MP and thus immediately bypassing the local council who could probably do what needs to be done.

      • Stuart Munro 9.1.2

        Not sure how well they work – but Korea routinely prosecutes members of outgoing administrations – and they are imprisoned while the investigation proceeds, to stop them covering things up. Such an investigation into Brownlee's performance in Christchurch would have ended very badly for him.

        • Pat 9.1.2.1

          Probably not…at least in legal terms…and probably not even in political terms either.

          That which occurred was widely recognised though probably not criminal and he remained supported in his electorate and party….dosnt make it right but such is life.

          • Stuart Munro 9.1.2.1.1

            It was criminal – whether the law recognizes that or not. And healthy societies find ways to deal with such malefactors, either judicially or by mechanisms such as ostracism. That NZ has not augurs poorly for our future.

            • Pat 9.1.2.1.1.1

              Yes ,I considered that when I wrote it, but technically is wasnt criminal (going on the information available)…and that is the point. The gutting thing about it is the lack of will by the opposition, the media and the public to fdorce the issue over a period of years….essentially he was given a free pass to behave as he did.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2.1.1.2

              It was criminal – whether the law recognizes that or not.

              There is a major problem when law fails to recognise immoral behaviour. It's an even bigger problem when the government then fails to adjust the law so that it will recognise and prosecute that same immoral behaviour.

  10. Dennis Frank 10

    So the

    next showdown between Judith Collins and Jacinda Ardern will be in front of a packed Christchurch audience and two staunchly Cantabrian moderators, next Tuesday.

    The Press Leaders Debate has been held since 2011 and is the only town hall-style debate of the election campaign season. It will be in front of a live audience of 750 and the topics will be informed by The Press and Stuff readers.

    Which leader can play a big crowd well, live? Does it matter? It does, inasmuch as floating voters can still flip the election outcome. Reef fish? Yeah, they can spin on a dime if something spooks them.

    The Press Leaders Debate will be moderated by The Press editor Kamala Hayman and Stuff political editor Luke Malpass.

    Having co-moderators is good, and one of each sex creates a good balance.

    Hayman, who has held the editor’s chair of The Press since 2017, said… Christchurch voters would expect genuine, honest answers from the leaders, not political slogans or point scoring.

    Let's hope the crowd provides a voice of unison on that basis, to loudly object when Collins tries to get away with talking over Ardern. Campbell & Gower were utter wimps, totally ineffective in moderating that behaviour!

    Malpass worked at The Australian Financial Review where he was an editorial writer, opinion and editorial page editor and features editor, and spent time as acting foreign editor. He also worked at The Sydney Morning Herald. “The great thing about live town hall-style debates is that they test a different set of skills. The leaders get an immediate response from the crowd, who will decide which issues they care about, which answers are good and which are duds."

    The Press-Stuff Leaders Debate can be watched live on Stuff from 7pm on Tuesday, October 6.

    • Andre 10.1

      Too late to be relevant. I've already voted.

    • Uncle Scrim 10.2

      Funny how the journalists who get these gigs seem to be the most excited by them. The voters, not so much?

    • Sacha 10.3

      inasmuch as floating voters can still flip the election outcome

      You seem really stuck on this. Not going to happen given the really big gap between left and right blocs.

      • Uncle Scrim 10.3.1

        Nigel Roberts once said that all election predictions are safe as long as you start your sentence with 'I'd be very surprised if …'

        Well I'd be very surprised if the voting blocs revealed in the last dozen or so mainstream polls (and especially the last 3 or so) did not translate more-or-less into the election night result. That suggests Lab 45-50%, Nats 29-33%, Greens and Act each on 6-7%, NZFirst c 3%, quite a few smaller parties c 1%. A tightening of the race between the two leading parties and/or the major blocs often tends to happen in elections, though, as for example happened with National's results in 2011 and 2014.

        • Sacha 10.3.1.1

          Yep. Not seeing any conditions at all that suggest a big shift.

          • Dennis Frank 10.3.1.1.1

            Me neither. But that wasn't what I was writing about, eh? Remember how Nixon's 5 o'clock shadow changed the course of history? Well, maybe you weren't around then. Only took that trigger to shift the mass perception of a swathe of voters, turned him into a swarthy, shifty loser in their minds.

            That showed how a leaders tv debate can transform politics. Overturned mass bias too, got the first catholic president in after three centuries of hard-line anti-papist sentiment.

            • Sacha 10.3.1.1.1.1

              This is not one of the first televised elections. Nor is Ardern a comms lightweight. Sorry it is all less interesting than you want it to be.

            • Gabby 10.3.1.1.1.2

              I'm sure Codger will give herself a going over with the triple blade beforehand.

  11. sumsuch 12

    Oh, the election you say. Labour following the 'art of the possible' when that doesn't reach what is necessary. No one shouting, only Yertle quivering far below.

  12. PaddyOT 13

    Trumpty Dumpty and his team have really spread the love across the states.

    The contract tracing overnight is now an enormous task.

    Who he met and who's tested positive.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2020-54386681

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