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Open mike 05/04/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 5th, 2021 - 31 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 …

31 comments on “Open mike 05/04/2021 ”

  1. Sacha 1

    How our collective efforts and leadership here are helping the whole world understand Covid better: https://www.theguardian.com/global/2021/apr/04/how-new-zealands-covid-success-made-it-a-laboratory-for-the-world

    Using a mixture of genomic sequencing and epidemiology, the country works to identify precisely who gave the virus to whom and – often enough – the environment in which it happened.

    That knowledge has proven critical for New Zealand’s pandemic response, allowing it to avoid longer lockdowns by more precisely mapping the spread. But it’s also yielded scientific insights to the rest of the world into exactly how and where Covid spreads. With conditions controlled to a degree that’s simply not possible elsewhere, the country behaves like a laboratory for the world.

    This kind of sequencing had never been woven into a real-time pandemic response before, and officials had some doubts about whether it would be fast enough to actually be useful. “Integrating genomics in real time was not part of the core toolkit of a public health response. It just wasn’t – it wasn’t anywhere on the globe,” Bunce says.

  2. Sacha 2

    Matt McCarten is scathing on housing inaction, though I disagree that the 'solutions' he suggests are enough: https://e-tangata.co.nz/comment-and-analysis/the-housing-hand-wringing-is-bunk/

    Every time I hear politicians spout that the reasons are complex and the answers aren’t easy or simple, I want to reach for the bucket.

    There is a housing crisis — but only for the working class. It’s a bonanza for the owning class. Successive governments have pampered the property owners who get rich off the backs of their renters.

    Either the government housing policy is to provide homes for all the people or it’s to maintain wealth opportunities for the few. The only impediment is the courage of our leaders to determine whose side they are on.

    • Treetop 2.1

      Well said by Mc Carten. I would have liked him to have raised the problems which are occurring for children who are being housed in motels. Small and cramped spaces just like in over crowded homes.

      Publicity on unaffordable rental is not working, activism is required. People can only take so much before they challenge the system.

      Just like there are food banks, free laundry services are required and I do not mean portable laundry services. Affording a reliable washing machine is being taken away due to a rent rise in some cases. Hot water and heating rationing will still occur in spite of the energy payment due to rent increases.

      Hand me a bucket to.

  3. joe90 3

    Because bread and circuses matter.

    /

  4. Morrissey 5

    The Empire of Doom continues to Strike.

    As you read this horrific report, please remember that a decade ago, Alvaro Uribe, perhaps the most vicious of all the villains mentioned in it, manipulated our own Sir Geoffrey Palmer in the most humiliating fashion. [1]

    Under Plan Colombia, government troops and associated paramilitaries were given a free rein to kill whom they liked, later framing their victims as FARC guerillas. Under Uribe’s watchful eye, over 10,000 innocent people — many of them farmers’ union leaders and indigenous activists — were slaughtered, the government only later admitting they had no connection to FARC. The U.S. directly funded the slaughter; the more dead “narco-terrorists” that were reported, the more money and weapons the U.S. would supply. Under Plan Colombia, the country also became the most dangerous place to be a trade unionist, according to Amnesty International, with more unionist murders happening inside Colombia than in all other countries combined.

    The United Nations estimates that 7.4 million people are internally displaced to this day because of the ongoing civil war and Plan Colombia, with millions more leaving the country altogether. All the while, classified U.S. government documents identified Uribe as one of the nation’s most important drug traffickers, an employee of the infamous Medellin Cartel and a “close personal friend” of drugs kingpin Pablo Escobar. Profits from drug-running funded Uribe’s elections in 2002 and 2006.

    While cocaine production did drop in Colombia (temporarily), producers simply moved across the unguarded borders to neighboring nations. Cocaine is extremely portable and simple to produce, with barely more than a few cooking pots and household chemicals needed. Thus, the overall trade was largely unaffected by over a decade of bombing, spraying and violence. What was achieved, however, was that organic, unspoiled land was cleared for large agribusiness and mining companies to move in.

    Read more…

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/biden-backs-revival-brainchild-plan-colombia-2-0-set-begin-next-month/276367/

    [1] https://www.democracynow.org/2011/9/2/as_turkey_freezes_israel_ties_critics

  5. joe90 6

    'Murica

    https://archive.li/9Dn2l (alt link)

    • Morrissey 6.1

      How many of those children are shot by police officers?

      • Andre 6.1.1

        As an exercise in broadening your information sources, why don't you go to the effort of finding out for yourself?

        Hint: the answer is not zero.

        • Morrissey 6.1.1.1

          As an exercise in broadening your information sources, why don't you go to the effort of finding out for yourself?

          My question was rhetorical.

          Hint: the answer is not zero.

          Thanks for that. I suspected as much. Still, it's comforting to some that America's Finest are coming down hard on dangerous children….

          • Incognito 6.1.1.1.1

            Let me guess, when you say “comforting” and referring to “America’s Finest and “dangerous children” you’re being sarcastic?

            • Morrissey 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Let me guess, when you say “comforting”…

              I think some people are indeed deluded enough to derive comfort from knowing the police are violent and discriminatory in their use of that violence.

              and refer to “America’s Finest"…

              I think my use of the Police's own self-conceit is ironic. It's like when we ironically use that ridiculous bromide "leader of the free world" to describe the United States, or "Right Honorable" to refer to parliamentarians who are neither right nor honorable.

              and “dangerous children” you’re being sarcastic?

              Yes, I must confess to indulging in the lowest form of wit in this instance.

              • Incognito

                My question was rhetorical. I expected a reply as such. But thanks anyway. Still, it's comforting that you’re as predictable and unfunny as ever …

                • Morrissey

                  My question was rhetorical. I expected a reply as such.

                  I replied to you seriously, and in good faith.

                  But thanks anyway. Still, it's comforting that you’re as predictable…

                  Well, yes, I'm predictable in the sense that anyone familiar with my oeuvre will know that I am not likely to support racist violence meted out by the police, whether in the United States, Australia, or New Zealand. I predictably support the victims of oppression rather than the perpetrators. So you are correct, I guess.

                  and unfunny as ever …

                  Unless you can support that claim with some evidence, it's simply abuse, not a critique.

                  • Incognito

                    In my view, you diverted the content in/of the tweet in joe90’s comment at the start of this thread to suit your own narrative. The tweet was triggered [bad pun] by an opinion piece in the New York Times, which you clearly had not read. That is not a sign of good faith, is it?

                    You are predictable, i.e. you have form in diverting and it is not conducive to good debate.

                    Personally, I would not call your litany of laments and transcripts here an “oeuvre”. The words I’d consider as apt description are not even synonyms of “oeuvre”.

                    In my opinion, you are not funny but utterly unfunny. That’s not abuse but a personal reflection on a qualitative aspect of your “oeuvre” here. I could point to the puerile GIFs you love to pepper around as apparent pearls of wisdom and wit. I could point to the last sentence of your comment above (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-05-04-2021/#comment-1787125). However, I think the large volume of unfunny comments speaks volumes on its own.

                    HTH

                • Adrian Thornton

                  Not so good to see you as negative as ever, but then I guess it's hard to change your spots when you have probably spent so much time cultivating them.

              • Adrian Thornton

                @ Morrissey , man it seems that some people around these parts just have to drop in a negative comment every time you say anything, quite toxic really.

                • Morrissey

                  Negative comments are fine, Adrian, as long as they have at least a semblance of coherence or wit.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    Yeah, I guess so, but anyway, I have always noticed that you always handle it with aplomb and with good humour..so all I can say is….well played sir.

                    Probably better than I do that is for sure..ha!, but hey, different strokes for different folks as they say.

    • Macro 6.2

      A first step: Biden should act urgently against untraceable “ghost guns.”

      Biden will announce new executive actions to curb gun violence on Thursday. While the extent of tomorrow’s announcement is unclear, Biden is expected to require background checks on buyers of so-called ghost guns – homemade or makeshift firearms that lack serial numbers. (Politico / CNN)

      Regrettably although the Democrat majority House has passed many pieces of legislation to curb and control the sale and use of guns in America those bills sit on the floor on the Senate because Republicans will never pass them into law. The only way that Biden can act to curb gun violence is by executive action which is limited and subject to legal challenge.

  6. Muttonbird 7

    The NZ-AUS bubble is premature. Neither population is vaccinated and most Kiwis just don't want Australians and people who live in Australia to be able to roam in unchecked. It's too soon.

    The last high profile case was an Australian woman who wanted to take us to court for insisting on a Covid test. There'll be all kinds of Covid deniers and Vitamin D advocates swamping our clean shores before you know it.

    I’m all for a Trans-tasman bubble in April…2022.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/news/300269377/transtasman-bubble-what-you-need-to-know-ahead-of-the-bubble-announcement

  7. Ad 8

    Is someone with half a commercial brain going to do something on the changes to the Commerce Act that goes much harder against cartel behavior?

    Good to hear AI systems will track likely behavior.

    • Muttonbird 8.1

      I read with dismay a Damien Grant article a day or two ago. He said the government could not regulate prosperity.

      He was referencing recent government action on housing. As usual from a convicted white collar criminal, Grant's first thought was how property investors could abuse the new rules on interest deductions. This is his natural state being morally corrupt, a libertarian, and a member of the Taxdodger's Union.

      He explained this is just what people (like him) do and it would be up to the IRD to police and prosecute such avoidance behaviour, at great expense.

      It is a sad state of affairs that right wing and libertarian people refuse to act in a socially responsible way but you comment got me thinking…

      …what if AI could inform the IRD of fraudulent white collar and property investor crime? I suggest the regular New Zealand taxpayer would be very happy indeed.

    • Poission 8.2

      You do understand that it is amended by lawyers,hence it will impart little logical sense to AI (a Turing problem)

      https://legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2021/0009/latest/LMS412128.html

    • ….or even behaviour

  8. Stuart Munro 9

    Fortuitous? Construction choke point being sorted without a fuss. NZ’s Timber Shortage – Help On The Way | Scoop News

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