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Open mike 04/03/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 4th, 2022 - 47 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 …

47 comments on “Open mike 04/03/2022 ”

  1. Not good.

    French President Macron believes 'the worst is to come' after call with Putin

    Emmanuel Macron held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the phone on Thursday in a bid to ease tensions between Russia and Ukraine. According to a French official, the pair spoke for 90 minutes, with Putin telling Macron that the conflict was "going according to plan." A source present described the tone of the phone call as "pessimistic" and "not-so-friendly." As Russia's invasion of Ukraine enters its second week, Kherson mayor Ihor Kolykhaev told NBC News Thursday that the city had been captured by Russian forces. After more than a full day of continuous shelling, hundreds are feared dead in the port of Mariupol, the deputy mayor said. Explosions have been reported in the capital Kyiv and heavy shelling in the country's second city, Kharkiv.

    The twitter #GoHome hashtag takes on a new meaning.

  2. Peter 2

    Maybe they can get Donald Trump in to be the Great Mediator. Apparently he gets on really well with Putin. He's told the world that so often

    He is on such good terms he even had a meeting with Putin, no officials, just an interpreter. No notes.

    And his knowledge of Ukraine? He is the original quid pro quo master and knows how to get a deal done there. Perfect phone calls and all that.

    And he would see it as the golden path to a Noble Piece Prize.

    • Blazer 2.1

      That's actually a pretty good idea.

      Could work for Putin too.

      It would probably put Trump back in the Whitehouse if he didn't get terminated.

    • Hongi Ika 2.2

      Evidently Donald didn't even know where the Ukraine was according to one of his colleagues ?

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Sean Phelan is an Associate Professor of Communication at Massey University. He discusses the concept of legitimate criticism here: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/462677/why-legitimate-criticism-of-mainstream-media-is-in-danger-of-being-hijacked-by-anti-vax-and-freedom-movements

    the politically confused nature of media criticism today is a symptom of a general ideological confusion that has accelerated during the pandemic

    Anyone committed to a culture of vibrant democracy needs to be alert to this ideological confusion. We need to minimise the chances of our own political and media critiques compounding the problem and be vigilant for reactionary rhetoric that loves to blur left-right boundaries.

    But Sean, left-right boundaries have been blurred here for almost 40 years. The guilty party was Labour. Have you forgotten already?? Or are you some kind of foreign invader ignorant of Aotearoa's political history?

    But our democratic imaginations will be seriously impoverished if the public conversation is reduced to a Manichean alternative of wild, paranoid denunciations of the "MSM" versus unquestioning support of our present media systems.

    Most people are binary, so will be unable to perceive nuances offered by non-binary contributors. And Sean, democracy is controlled by this majority, so impoverishment is inevitable, right? Do try to use your brain.

    Surely it's obvious that democracy was set up to institutionalise a binary structure to politics. Nat/Lab sheeple will always head through those two gates. The social science research reported a couple of weeks back found that the largest political grouping within the parliament protest was those who voted Labour at the last election. Betrayal by Labour in govt roused that rabble…

  4. hamish 4

    I noticed a few odd things in the tables in the Scottish COVID data so popped it into a spread sheet.

    One thing that popped out is at odds with what Tricledrown said


    just looked up Scottish public health service website.

    They are saying people are misreporting data cherry picking different data from different days.

    But they make a statement outline the reality.

    Mainly around Deaths 83.7% un vaccinated.

    But in my spreadsheet it shows up as only 15% of all deaths in the period 18 Dcc to 4 Feb (93 death in the un vaccinated vs 539 in vaccinated )

    And the un vaccinated were 20% of the population.

    Still checking for my typos, but there are some wierd things showing up..

    • Craig H 4.1

      To quote pg28 of the report:

      • Age-standardised hospitalisation rates for COVID-19 are lower for people who have received a booster or 3rd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine compared to individuals that are unvaccinated or have received one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
      • Age-standardised mortality rates for COVID-19 deaths are lower for people who have received a booster or 3rd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine compared to individuals that are unvaccinated or have received one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

      Age-standardised is likely to be the key adjective behind discrepancies – we already know that older people are more likely to die from Covid than younger people, and that's shown as true in Scotland by toggling the data presented on Scotland's data dashboards. Under 60s had fewer deaths than 60+ at all waves of the pandemic, and of those 60+, 85+ were disproportionately represented.

      The charts and commentary on pages 31-33 are also age-standardised.

      NZ Data seems clearer to me as the table under the "Vaccination details" heading shows pretty clearly that vaccination has an impact on hospitalisation rates since Delta arrived here (so these figures don't include the 2020 outbreaks). To quote the table and add percentages:

      No doses received prior to being reported as a case: 9806 cases; 515 hospitalisations (5.25%)

      Partially vaccinated: 3971 cases; 142 hospitalisations (3.58%)

      Fully vaccinated at least 7 days before reported as a case: 86673 cases; 511 hospitalisations (0.59%)

      Received booster at least 7 days before being reported as a case: 38713 cases; 144 hospitalisations (0.37%)

      Not eligible for vaccination at the time they were reported as a case: 21754 cases; 115 hospitalisations (0.53%)

      Total: 160917 cases; 1427 hospitalisations (0.89%)

      No age-standardisation here, just raw data, and it clearly shows vaccination has kept people out of hospital compared to less or no vaccination.

      The table under "COVID-19 cases by age group" also shows how much impact age has on probability of death. Of the 23 90+ year olds who have previously had Covid and no longer do, 15 recovered and 8 died. Of the 105 aged 80-89, 93 recovered and 12 died.

    • McFlock 4.2

      One weird thing is how you managed to get February's mortality number from a link published in January.

      • hamish 4.2.1

        My bad…

        Data in my spreadsheet is from 2 reports.

        I failed to put the second link in


        • McFlock

          So you're counting partially vaccinated as "vaccinated"? Bold move when folks are talking about cherry-picked data.

          My guess is that TD's 87% comes from march 2020. Or some collation of data similar to your apparent "1 jab grouped with booster numbers when counting covid dead" move.

          Basically, Craig is correct about the standardisation. There are a lot of biases in who got vaccinated how much and when: age, access to primary healthcare and vaccinations, single dose waning vaccinations too early for omicron, and so on. Then there's the regular statistical fluctuation of smaller numbers and the cherry-picking that enables.

          But when you look at who's more likely to die, unvaccinated are at the top of the list and fully vaccinated at the bottom.

          • hamish

            My preference would to have split split things apart further, with categories of "in transition", as they do not fit quite in either group.

            Have not had a chance to check my data entry yet..

            • McFlock

              They literally supply the age-standardised rates right there in the same table

          • hamish

            Still not done data check yet, but re did with 1 shot lumped in with unvaxed


            14.7% from 18.5% of population (un vaccinated only)

            18.8% from 26.1% of population ( 1 shot in with the un vaccinated

            • McFlock

              That 18.5%: is it 18.5% of every agegroup from babies to geriatrics, or is it 30% of <25yo and 2% of everyone over 30?

              I honestly can't be bothered trying to math it at this time of night, nic's already given you a link that shows you how to do the age-standardisation you should be doing if you actually want to get somewhere.

              • Nic the NZer

                I don't think it can be done with the available data. You need the data categorised by both vaccination status and age group which I don't see provided anywhere.

                • McFlock

                  Even if it were, it would simply be to replicate the age-standardised rates already included in the report.

                  Still, keeps hamish off the streets, I guess.

                  Standardisation always confuses the hell out of me – don't tell the boss lol

                  • Nic the NZer

                    Sorry, I completely didn't understand the point of this ongoing conversation. How long did you expect the distraction to last until he discovered the data he has is insufficient to reproduce the calculations.

                    The age standardisation process is another way of resolving the Simpson's paradox in the data (which is why all Hamish raw overall rates are so different and miss-leading). It however results in only one value, rather than a value for each age group. Its result represents a hypothetical population of 100,000 with a standard european age range who are all of one category (e.g vaccinated, partially vaccinated, unvaccinated).

                    • McFlock

                      Was moderately interested to see how long it would take, and whether there was a workaround available (vaccination by age graph with an age pyramid from another source).

                      But also, the dude is at least trying, so figured a bit more commentary as they progressed through the process might be more kind than waiting for them to deliver something that has a jundamental flaw from the start.

                      And I get the point of standardisation, I just always seem to screw up the coding the first iteration or two. My pool of coding ability is small, and somewhat brackish.

  5. Pinus Radiata should be banned from the ETS Trading Scheme ?

    Of course they should be they are basically a low value weed which is causing havoc in the South Island and across the East Coast of New Zealand.

    Typical of NZ's Bureauocratic Monocultural Thinking, our Forestry Research people here in NZ should go to countries like Japan and have a look at how to plan and plant alternative high value species.

    NZ Dairy Industry and Milk Powder is a classic example of NZ's incompetence when it comes to long term planning and strategic thinking.


    • Hongi Ika 5.1

      ,,,, also a proper assessment needs to be done from an environmental perspective, just look at the mess Industrial Dairying has created on the Canterbury Plains, the Selwyn River is basically a sewer for the Canterbury Dairy Industry. Also Pinus Radiata on the East Coast has caused chaos for the local tangata whenua and radiata pine ETS Scheme is sucking up good agricultural pastoral land to grow flipping weeds for Absentee Offshore Investors.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1.1

        have you ever been to Gisborne -East Coast inland areas. They mostly arent suitable land for pastoral farming, prone to slips and with poor soils

  6. pat 6

    "Either way, we should as a country to be ready. I fear that we aren't.

    We've had two years of closed borders that have given us time to prepare for the reopening.

    But when it comes to it all that's happening is that we are opening the doors and hoping for the best.

    So, fingers crossed. And, no, 'fingers crossed' is not a strategy. But it's what we've been left with in the absence of a strategy."


    • Craig H 6.1

      By doing what? The government has no palatable way of controlling outward flows of Kiwis, so how can they forecast it in a pandemic? And if they can't forecast that, how can they forecast net migration?

      • pat 6.1.1

        Firstly the government can indeed control outward flows, however even if that is deemed inappropriate (or politically unpalatable) there is the option of balancing inflows with outflows, but as the article laments that would require a population policy of which there remains no sign of….and so we will 'cross our fingers' and revert to type, with the continuation of the problems we have created for ourselves to date.

        Einstein is famously misattributed with comment on such.

        It is entirely possible that our recent Governments have had de facto population policies but not one they felt confident expressing publicly.

        • Craig H

          Largely closing the borders has been seen as legal during a pandemic, but in normal times, Kiwis have wide freedom of movement, particularly to Australia, no restrictions on leaving, and a legally-enshrined right to return (both NZ and international law).

          We could withdraw from the TTTA and/or just ban NZ citizens from leaving, but both of those would be extremely unpopular (as in, unelectable-for-a-generation unpopular), and bans essentially unenforceable without blocking all travel outwards of citizens (otherwise people would just "change their minds" after departing). Banning non-citizens from leaving, even if they are NZ residents, seems likely to result in sanctions.

          However, if you have some other options for controlling outward flows, let's hear them.

          For most of the past 60 years we generally attempted to balance outward flows with inward flows over time (Stats NZ info) – recurring high net migration only really became a feature of part of the 2010s.

          • pat

            "For most of the past 60 years we generally attempted to balance outward flows with inward flows over time (Stats NZ info) – recurring high net migration only really became a feature of part of the 2010s"

            Im afraid not….we abandoned any attempt to balance flows some 30 years ago…go and have a look at the stats.

            • Craig H

              There was massive negative net migration in the latter halves of the 1970s and 1980s, so for the 30 years from 1962-1992, NZ saw cumulative negative net migration – it didn't flip to positive (i.e. more people coming than going) until 1995, and got pretty close to 0 again by 2000 after another run of negative net migration 1998-2000.

              There was quite a spike 2001-2003, but individual years flattened again (between 0.24%-0.42% of the population in 2004-2009), were negative in 2010-2012, and total net migration from 1962-2012 was 210,713 (the spike in 2001-03 accounts for 132,472 or 62.9% of that). The total net migration from 1962-2020 is 610,401 i.e. nearly 400,000 from 2013-2020, or 65.5% of the cumulative net migration since 1962.

              • pat


                net gain 63,300. 7/9 years positive


                net gain 1,900. 5/10 positive years


                net loss 48,400. 4/10 positive years


                net gain 118,700. 9/10 positive years


                net gain 103,500. 8/10 positive years


                net gain 327,200. 9/10 positive years

                and even 2020/2021 with closed borders has seen a net gain of 85,800

                There is a clear pattern, 30 years ago we abandoned any attempt to balance migration and have been increasing those flows ever since (diminishing returns?)…..and that is irrespective of party in power, though it appears the Nats really upped the ante in 2013/2014 and Labour have continued it despite the rhetoric.

                And did anyone (knowingly) vote for this?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1

      The site includes the nuclear reactors , a large coal fueled power station and a small town for the employees

  7. joe90 8

    Partisan hacks block an investigation into a conspiracy theory. Surely not?


    Posted on March 3, 2022

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has released records revealing how partisan deadlock blocked its investigation into potential coordination between former President Trump’s 2016 election campaign and the Russian Federation.

    The FEC’s nonpartisan professional career staff in its General Counsel’s office recommended that the FEC find “reason to believe” that the Trump campaign violated the Federal Election Campaign Act (“the Act”) by coordinating with the Russian government, and soliciting and receiving illegal in-kind donations from the Russian government. This misconduct included soliciting Russian assistance in hacking and disclosing emails associated with Trump’s political opponents, as well as soliciting hacked documents from WikiLeaks and sharing internal polling data with a Russian intelligence officer working with factions aiming to move Ukraine into the Russian orbit. The staff also recommended finding reason to believe that the Russian government itself violated the Act, by engaging in an illegal influence campaign in the 2016 election, failing to disclose the money spent on that campaign, and making prohibited in-kind contributions to the Trump campaign, including expending resources to hack Clinton-related servers at Trump’s request. But the FEC split 3-3 on the staff recommendation, and thus blocked the investigation from proceeding.


  8. Adrian 9

    Russians have reportedly set the largest nuclear power station on fire, just to illustrate how stupid they are strong westerly winds are forecast for the next week. Go to http://www.windy.com

  9. Siobhan 10

    The Protest we should be talking about…

    "CHEP Workers Win New Agreement After Weeks On The Picket Line"


    Well done to all involved ..obviously not the story the suits the MSM and Liberal commentators and politicians ..these sorts of protests never are…but hats off to you and the Union.

    • Patricia Bremner 10.1

      Wonderful!! Workers are starting to understand and use the legislation Andrew Little championed.

  10. Cricklewood 11

    Fuck me the Russians are shelling the Nuclear power station, it's caught fire…

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