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Open mike 06/06/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 6th, 2020 - 90 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 …

90 comments on “Open mike 06/06/2020 ”

  1. Ad 1

    For the good of our nation, Winston Peters needs to be memorialised.

    In Parliament with just a few breaks since 1978, he should be sat down and given a proper Celebrity Roast.

    Something akin to the final scene of The Wire in which a good but errant cop is laid flat in front of a bar with all his peers old and older, all his enemies, all his friends, all his lovers, all his whanau, all the lawyers he's shafted, all the judges he's just fucked over in the press, all the MPs and Ministers and Prime Ministers he's stabbed in the front and the back and the side, all the reporters that he's spat at to their faces as the nation watched with abandoned glee, all the civil servants who year after year wiped his ass with our cash until he could finally shit no more, and story after story and drink after drink they all recall how he did it, how he got them all, the best lies he ever told, the crimes he never quite nailed, the conspiracies true and should've-been-true from Think Big's Alusuisse to The Winebox to PGF, in short how he was to his core Natural Born Politician, the only one we'v really had since Holyoake, the sum total of his 'hit' files on people are read out and laughed at…

    and at the same time as this is happening he is gently tapped of all his fluid and embalmed, so that he can be aid flat on the gun carriage and pulled with 22 black horses down The Terrace and Featherstone Street as people throw black carnations and red roses across his path … but he's still perfectly conscious so that he can enjoy it and repudiate all the concurrent press coverage to their faces …

    … and then his head can be gently removed and mounted on a mahogany base to be displayed, with eyes ever-watching, right above the Speakers' Chair, something like a horse.

    I think we all owe him that.

  2. Cinny 2

    Wonderful news to start the day. A friend worked at this pharmacy, it was the most abusive workplace she has even been in. It lead to mental health issues for her.

    The former owners of a Nelson pharmacy have been hit with almost $400,000 in penalties for price fixing.

    Karma heart

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/121721644/former-nelson-pharmacy-owners-penalised-394000-for-price-fixing

    • Great!

      "The summary of facts said the pharmacy explained to customers the $1 charge was to draw attention to the under-funding of prescription medicines and to put pressure on the health board to adequately fund them to ensure the pharmacies' survival."

      And who do you reckon Hebberd and Wright will support in the upcoming election? Probably the same people that increased prescription charges fro $3 – $5 and who made an art form out of underfunding the health sector during their reign of terror.

      • greywarshark 2.1.1

        Apart from bad employment practices and the fact that the pharmacies all agreed to making a protest charge, the $400,000 is excessive for an extra $1. I suppose that will pay for the CEOs salary at COCO, (I should cocoa! for the English readers), or might stretch for him or her and the Misery of Health (as Rosemary calls them) or the CEO of the DHB who I think may be the one making such a good job of running the Southland/Otago HB.

        Now COCO can look at AirNZ and see if they should be charged big quids for holding urgently needed refunds back in a predatory manner.

  3. UMR poll:
    – Labour 54% (down marginally from 55% in April)
    – ational 30% (up marginally from 29% in April)
    – NZ First 5% (down from 6%)
    – Greens 4% (down from 5%)
    – ACT may be 2.5%

    Preferred Prime Minister:
    – Jacinda Ardern 65% (no change)
    – Todd Muller 13% (Bridges 7% in April)

    The poll of 1211 voters was taken from May 26 to June 1 and has a margin of error of +/-3%.

    Another very good result for Labour and Ardern but they appear to have peaked.

    This isn’t very good for National again, but it suggests the slide may have ended.

    And considering a muddled first week and uninspiring second week I don’t think it’s bad for Muller, he at least got about double Bridges last UMR result.

    We’re in an unprecedented situation health-wise, socially, politically and economically. It is most likely the Labour-National gap will close a bit at least as we get closer to the election.

    Source ODT/NZ Herald

    • Robert Guyton 3.1

      " It is most likely the Labour-National gap will close a bit at least"

      A bit? Good prediction and good news for the Left!

    • Incognito 3.2

      Why the duplicate comment?

    • swordfish 3.3

      I don’t think it’s bad for Muller, he at least got about double Bridges last UMR result.

      No surprise … I was pretty much expecting him to debut around the early to mid teens.

      Given the ever-increasing importance of leadership attributes in determining voting behaviour … a new Opposition Leader really needs to be debuting in the 20s or 30s in the Preferred PM stakes and to appear at least reasonably competitive with the PM if they're to have any chance of victory.

      Unfortunately UMR have only very recently started to measure Preferred PM ratings … in the past they restricted leadership measures to Favourability only … but here are new Oppo Leader debuts in the Colmar Brunton Preferred PMs this century:

      Initial Preferred PM rating for each new Leader:

      First, the 2 successful new Oppo Leaders:

      Key 27%

      Ardern 30%

      Second, the unsuccessful in chronological order:

      English 21%

      Brash 15%

      Goff 6%

      Shearer 11%

      Cunliffe 12%

      Little 12%

      Bridges 10%

      Muller 13% (UMR … other Leaders CB)

    • Party Vote Green, tactically or if you are a wavering Labour/Green voter is the message there. Tribal Labour support for the sake of it makes no sense.

      We may end up with Act 6 Nats 39 Labour 43 NZF 4.9 GR 4.9 wasted 2.2

      Prime Minister Mullet in an ACT/NAT coalition of 61 seats

      • Herodotus 3.4.1

        You mean vote for a party that allowed police free entry into our property. The party that has to swallow dead rats (willingly). Little comment regarding police using AI. And giving the Nats their questions at QT. All to be part of THE govt team, without really BEINg in the team

        • weka 3.4.1.1

          If they had voted against the Bill, what would have happened next?

          I mean, there is a conversation to be had about how MMP *should function, but people saying the Greens should just vote against everything they don't like would stall govt and no-one explains what would happen next given Labour also have to negotiate Bills with NZF, their primary partner who has Ministers inside cabinet.

          I really wish people would explain how they think this works, instead of just slagging off a party for making the best of a shitty situation. Doubly so in a conversation about tactical voting, because if the Greens get more MPs this time they will have more chance at swaying Labour.

          • Alice Tectonite 3.4.1.1.1

            Amazed at the number of people who seem to think that decreasing the Green vote is the best way to get movement on environmental issues …

            • weka 3.4.1.1.1.1

              Blows my mind every single time. Likewise social justice, or economics, or most things.

              Seems like many people still vote according to their personal feelings rather than tactically.

          • Herodotus 3.4.1.1.2

            NZ1st appear to be able to maintain their identity and keep to their principles, Where is the line in the sand that The Greens will not cross? for me this appears to me a moving target.

            Are some saying that to be part of the establishment that there are many rats to be swallowed, and what "payback" is there for the Greens ? – I don't see Labour or NZ1 digesting rats. Just saying 🤓

            • Sacha 3.4.1.1.2.1

              Winston First were in a position to negotiate a coalition agreement containing more latitude and more lollies than the Greens were offered, including seats at the cabinet table.

              Politics is the art of the possible. Purity is for those of us sitting on the outside wringing our hands.

            • weka 3.4.1.1.2.2

              I'm going to address the issues you raise there Herodotus, but first I want to point out that you didn't answer the question. If the Greens voted against the Bill, what would have happened next?

              • Ad

                What would have happened is the Greens would have started a nationwide debate.

                A nationwide debate on anything is what the Greens at 4.7%-5.1% desperately need.

                The Greens sure sucked it up and voted for the two-tier welfare payments. And then came out the next day and complained. Trying to start a nationwide debate.

                But then Labour would have responded that they've delivered:

                – The $5.5 billion Families Package in 2018 which established the Winter Energy and Best Start payments, as well as boosting Working for Families tax credits.

                – Indexed main benefits to wage growth from April 2020, meaning benefit payments rise in line with wages – rather than inflation.

                – Increased most benefits, in its initial Covid-19 economic rescue package, by $25 a week and doubled this year's Winter Energy Payment.

                and of course

                – Dropped $15billion to keep everyone's jobs going over the last few months – through to October.

                So the debate is there if the Greens really want it.

                But hell the Greens need a big fat media platform. Guns. Crime. Welfare. Trees. Water. Climate. Anything will do right now.

                Head for 5% like they want it.

                • Sacha

                  the Greens need a big fat media platform

                  If only they could buy one..

                • weka

                  ah well, pity I didn't read this comment before the Greens should act like ACT one.

                  I am curious how this scenario would play out. I'll have a proper read of this in the morning, thank fuck someone finally put up some actual strategy.

            • weka 3.4.1.1.2.3

              NZ1st appear to be able to maintain their identity and keep to their principles,…

              Yes, and it's hard for me to understand how this is still so poorly understood given that NZF have been in parliament since the early 90s, and Peters has been fucking with MMP since its introduction. Not trying to be rude, there is a lot I still don't understand about how parliament and government works in NZ. Here's what I understand about this though,

              Centrist small parties have institutional power that small parties on the left and right don't. NZF is able to play National and Labour off each other in order to get policy gains. They also had slightly more votes and one more MP than the Greens in 2017.

              Labour couldn't govern with the GP alone, it had to do a deal with NZF if it wanted to form government. NZF held the balance of power, because if Labour wouldn't deal with them, they could just support a Nat govt instead. This option isn't available to the GP.

              Labour also needed the GP to form govt, but the option for the GP was to support a Lab govt or allow a Nat one. Obviously this is a lot less tenable for a left wing party than a centrist one.

              There are some bottom lines, which I'll address below, but I don't see NZF holding the balance of power being one of them. What else should have made the GP not give Confidence and Supply in 2017 and thus given Nat a 4th term? I can't think of any. So this is an institutional power that the Greens hold, but it's a very different power than what NZF have.

              Add to that is that the GP practice political ethics. They're not going to bring down a govt over policy unless there is a critical issue of principles.

              …Where is the line in the sand that The Greens will not cross? for me this appears to me a moving target.

              My understanding of the GP position is that they won't compromise on principles but they will compromise on policy. This is what Sacha is talking about. All parties have to compromise, and in this case that includes Lab and NZF. How much they compromise depends on two things. What kind of institutional power they have, and how they use that power. The Greens aren't in govt for power, they're there for change, and working with other parties is a good way of effecting that. A big part of that is maintaining good working relationships with the parties they depend upon on this issue but also future issues.

              Are some saying that to be part of the establishment that there are many rats to be swallowed, and what "payback" is there for the Greens ? – I don't see Labour or NZ1 digesting rats. Just saying

              The big problem I see is that the negotiations around Bills are done in secret. I think they should be public. I think NZers should be able to see who is supporting what, and who is blocking what. Atm we can't see what gains the GP have made that NZF or Labour wouldn't have done anyway, but we can make some educated guesses based on the policy platforms of all parties before the election.

              Climate is the obvious one. We have a more progressive climate policy than if it had been L/NZF alone.

              If you really want to dig into, I would expect that the Select Committee process would likewise show the differences between the parties and then the outcomes would show who made gains for their own policies. This includes the covid Bill, which I understand the Greens argued for changes to.

              • Ad

                What a load of ridiculous special pleading.

                Even Act has more dignity than to argue about how being an out-there party makes it hard. Act finds the way to make change – which they have done this term with tiny numbers. They will be rewarded for it.

                You want to get above 5% go out and fight for it.

                Failing that go win a seat and stop whining about how everyone's so mean and no one else has principles.

                • arkie

                  Why are you so hostile? Serious question.

                  Your example is totally ridiculous, ACT only exist in parliament because of a deal between them and National, we are all aware of that. ACT represent ideology and policies that the National party want but may not want to campaign on. If your rhetoric is representative of how Labour views the Greens then it's even more clear how different their situation is from your example.

                  • Ad

                    You Green supporters seem about as capable of holding their Green MPs for their performance which is at marginal survival as white evangelicals do to Donald Trump. That's shown by you reacting like a scolded cat to some advice that's applicable to any marginal party.

                    Act have got the electoral deal that the Greens may well need to stay afloat. Take a lesson and do a deal.

                    The Greens need to survive. On their own merits.

                    • arkie

                      Your characterisation of both my reaction and your 'advice' is inaccurate.

                      Again I ask, why are you so hostile?

                • Sacha

                  Act is consistently given more media space than the Greens. It would be interesting to hear why you think that happens.

                • weka

                  What a load of ridiculous special pleading.

                  Even Act has more dignity than to argue about how being an out-there party makes it hard. Act finds the way to make change – which they have done this term with tiny numbers. They will be rewarded for it.

                  You want to get above 5% go out and fight for it.

                  Failing that go win a seat and stop whining about how everyone's so mean and no one else has principles.

                  For a guy whose smart about many things including lots of politics, you have a pretty outstanding blindspot on this.

                  My post wasn't about special pleading, it was simply describing how parties on the edges don't have the same institutional power as those in the middle, so that H could understand the context of what he was expecting and why it's unlikely to happen.

                  To me this is self-evident, whatever failings the Greens have, by all means explain how I am wrong on this point. Centrist parties can do things that parties on the edge can't. And you know, I'm still waiting for the actual explanation of the people that dump on the Greens on how macho politics from the left of Labour would work. Won't hold my breath though, you do seem to have an ongoing grievance about something to do with the Greens so I don't expect any useful discussion about how governments function.

                  You try and use ACT as an example of something in all that, but ACT are only in parliament because they do a deal with Nat to have a seat. Instead of opening a conversation about the usefulness or not of Lab and the Greens doing electorate deals, you suggest that ACT are somehow more parliamentarily virutous /massive eyeroll.

                  Your implication is that the Greens haven't achieved anything, but obviously they have. Maybe they haven't lived up to your expectations, which would be really fucking weird given how much you seem to hate them. No idea what that is about, maybe it's just too much that Labour have to rely on them and you are afraid that it will cost the left the election.

                  Bugger me why people think dumping on the Greens will improve things, but I guess there are still plenty of lefties out there that think bashing is an incentive. SSDD for NZ after all.

          • Herodotus 3.4.1.1.3

            What would happen next ?… Extending that then, The Greens are totally subservient to Labour because they cannot go against their govt.

            If there is a partnership then shouldn't Labour be seen tacitly in "giving" the Greens over the last 2.5 years some wins.

            From my perspective we see NZ1 standing up as the sole bastion of "Common Sense". Sure Peters pays the game, at many times at a Kindy level and it STILL works. e.g. Fishing at home to gain profile, standing to move to level 1. Saying that there are plenty in politics that are clueless at the most basic of levels.

            • weka 3.4.1.1.3.1

              What would happen next ?…

              Is there a reason you won't engage with the question?

              Extending that then, The Greens are totally subservient to Labour because they cannot go against their govt.

              I'm curious where you get your information about the Greens from. I've seen them going against Labour policy a number of times recently.

              If there is a partnership then shouldn't Labour be seen tacitly in "giving" the Greens over the last 2.5 years some wins.

              They have. Maybe do some research.

              I'm so sick of these conversations. If people want the Greens to do something, then explain how. Otherwise it just comes across as moaning. Personally I think the Greens' weak points are more about their strategy, and their social media work. But we will see how they go in the election campaign.

        • Alice Tectonite 3.4.1.2

          You mean vote for a party that allowed police free entry into our property.

          Are you suggesting voting for one of the other parties that allowed it? Also, are you suggesting that the Greens shouldn't have become part of the government?

          • Ad 3.4.1.2.1

            Maybe they should just sit the next term out.

            Might be good for them.

            • greywarshark 3.4.1.2.1.1

              Stop the tag wrestling Ad. We don't have time for things to gradually work out – the world is coming to an end and the sky is falling. Times are almost fitting into the stories of children's nursery rhymes – so unbelievable.

              Put up or shut up. Don't put down any well meaning Party, put a whoopee cushion under them, and when it farts say 'Look what happens when you sit down, stand up grow good, and get moving like there's no tomorrow'. There may not be – it may come but look completely different than what was expected.

            • OnceWasTim 3.4.1.2.1.2

              Now children children! If you can't behave nicely to each other, I'm afraid I'm going to have to separate you!

              Ad: You go and stand in the purple corner! (Or is it mauve?)

              Hero: You're over there in the black, and woe betide if you turn around while you're wearing that ridiculous dunce's hat (Talking about bloody principle and all – especially when Shane the Retail politician has got 'em all up for sale and is negotiating the price of the next bauble for Winnie)

              @Grey: Come with me and and we'll go and do the dishes together

    • observer 3.5

      As pointed out in that Herald/ODT link, the UMR poll is only part of the story. But we also know National's private polling is bad, because Muller is refusing to share it with the caucus. If it was 35%+ they'd be spinning it like crazy.

  4. Thank the Heavens for small mercies eh?

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/ldr/418394/people-are-drowning-in-debt-crackdown-on-loan-sharks-welcomed

    I gave up following the issue a while back but I'd be grateful if someone who is considerably considerably better informed than I could tell me about the intricacies of it all. And that's because I'm no longer interested in anything mathmatic and I'm considerably considerably richer than they, and really – why should I give a fuck – I'm in my comfy little nest at the moment, until such time as it all goes tits up!

    Does it still mean that people who've been magnanimously granted one of these loans will pay no more than 100% on the principle? The 0.8% per day compounded and all such. Seems wonderful eh? A can of baked beans in watered down tomato sauce might only eventually cost $5 or 6.

    And if there is someone who could tell me whether the ultimate incremental pragmatist, kicker-of-the-can-down-the-road is going to monitor everything in this space, just as he has over other of his responsibilites – not the least of which is the state of our media.

    As the Tangerine Turkey often says: "It's tremendous. We'll see what happens" and second tier bennies really should be grateful eh? IF they show enough personal responsibility, have the ambition and determination to break free of their circumstance, they could become a Minister of the Crown – it's in their hands

  5. Andre 6

    Usually I find Jimmy Kimmel a bit ho-hum, but this one's got its moments.

    It appears that President Loathe in the Time of Corona has sent a can of his dayglo spraytan to his personal Nosferatu, but instead of using halved ping-pong balls to protect his eyes when applying it, he's used a mask over his mouth. (See the kindergarten tit-for-tat with Piers Morgan starting at 6:30).

  6. Andre 7

    Good fkn riddance. Cops who run away at the first whiff of accountability – everyone is better off without them. Hopefully this sets the ball rolling and we'll see a lot more of it.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/buffalo-police-emergency-response-team-resign_n_5eda99e1c5b6ba25316d970a

    • Sacha 7.1

      They have only thrown their toys out of the cot to support their fellow thugs – still employed.

      Of course NZ's own police union would never get on the wrong side of justice like that..

      • Andre 7.1.1

        It's still a step in the right direction when thugs quit an explicit Thug Division, simply because the risk of being held accountable has gone from zero to very small. Net result should still be a reduction in police thuggery.

        As far as the Greens/ NZ Police Association thing goes, it strikes me as a bit misdirected and ott from all sides. In particular, one clear message from the George Floyd murder is that death and violence from police can happen even without use of weapons. A point which seems to have been missed in the current posturing from both sides.

        Also Greens, given the role Facebook has in seriously fucking up political discourse worldwide, what's up with making us go to Facebook to find material you're publishing? Put it directly on your own site.

        https://www.greens.org.nz/greens_urge_police_to_rule_out_armed_police_patrols_following_george_floyd_s_death

        • Sacha 7.1.1.1

          Dunno, seems pretty straightforward..

        • greywarshark 7.1.1.2

          Edit
          This piles anxiety on top of deeply troubling when thinking of how far NZ police behaviour will descend into punitive attacks when they decide to trial new policing methods which might turn out to become routine. Gordon Campbell at Scoop has amassed some relevant background information.

          http://werewolf.co.nz/2020/06/gordon-campbell-on-the-george-floyd-protests/

          For instance : Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer now facing murder and manslaughter charges for killing Floyd had been the subject of 18 prior complaints. These included his participation in the 2006 killing of a Native American called Wayne Reyes, who had been pulled over by Police in connection with an assault on his girlfriend. In the space of four seconds, Chauvin and five fellow officers poured 43 rounds into the cab of Reyes’ truck, 23 of which hit Reyes.

          Tou Thao, one of three other officers present while Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck had been the subject of six prior complaints, including participation in a 2017 Police attack on Lamar Ferguson, a black man out walking with his pregnant girlfriend. Ferguson was left hospitalised with broken teeth and other injuries. While the city of Minneapolis eventually made a $25,000 payout to Ferguson, the officers responsible continued in service.

          Similar story with the killing in March of Brianna Taylor, a 26 year old emergency nurse who was shot eight times in the course of a night-time police raid on her apartment in Louisville Kentucky :

  7. joe90 8

    wt…

  8. Andre 9

    Why white evangelicals love their mango messiah, explained:

  9. Macro 10

    The man-child is completely tone deaf, and with this latest episode of insensibility one wonders if he can be any more despicable. But his daily scraping of the bottom of the barrel reveals he a character of immense vileness.

    image

    • Andre 10.1

      The bottom of the barrel gave up after token resistance years ago: he's now blasting into bedrock in his daily quest to go ever lower.

    • Stunned Mullet 10.2

      '……one wonders if he can be any more despicable. '

      I’m sure he’ll exceed everyones’ expectations.

    • ianmac 10.3

      Trump started by reading from a script but then launched into his usual unbelievable tirade. Stick to a script Donald. You are less than no public speaker.

      • Incognito 10.3.1

        Oh, come on! He’s the greatest public onanator. His skills are wasted bigly on Twitter, let’s be honest.

        • In Vino 10.3.1.1

          Yes, his superb strokes of rhetorical onantation skillfully create a powerful and compelling massage.

          • greywarshark 10.3.1.1.1

            The massage is so relaxing – as soon as I hear Trump's dulcet tones I fall asleep. Some might find Trump educational, but he just teaches us bad habits; I advise to flee before your brain turns to mush.

            Reminds me of Groucho Marx's jibe at television being educational. "I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book."

  10. Herodotus 11

    I thought this was very timely given the world today and With a Kiwi influence&nbspand for some to take time an search Blair Peach abkost kiwiw name one history
    https://youtu.be/NxD3whUUz30

  11. Herodotus 12

    Who was Blair Peach ? For those who don't know it is good to know your history of what has gone before us at s time like this. Those older SHOULD know, especially visitors to this site and the link to this song of protest.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxD3whUUz30

  12. joe90 13

    Never underestimate the covidity of the repug base.

    One third of Americans used bleach or other household disinfectants “in non-recommended high risk practices” in attempts to reduce the spread of the deadly coronavirus, a new CDC survey finds.

    Among the non-recommended practices were using “bleach on food products, applying household cleaning and disinfectant products to skin, and inhaling or ingesting cleaners and disinfectants,” the CDC says, as The Daily Beast reports.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2020/06/one-out-of-three-americans-used-bleach-in-non-recommended-high-risk-practices-to-battle-coronavirus-cdc-report/?

    • joe90 13.1

      Or faux news talking heads.

  13. Incognito 14

    15 – 0 – 1

  14. observer 15

    Shane Jones standing in Northland is no surprise. But it's certainly news to discover that this is tipped to decide the election. It turns out …

    Reporter has been living in a cave since February.

    Note the link to an obsolete poll, in the opening sentence. Weird.

    • bwaghorn 15.1

      Cant help but wonder if bridges was rolled purely because nzf is nationals only path back to power.

      • Incognito 15.1.1

        National’s position on NZF has not changed, yet. I believe Nikki Kaye said so this morning.

    • Peter 15.2

      If NZ First gets 4.8% of the party vote they are gone. NZ First gets 4.8% of the party vote and wins Northland they have a presence.

      Could NZF be in the driver's seat again? It's possible. I think anyone expecting Labour to poll 50+% and National >30% is in dreamland. The most likely result is both of those parties in the 40s.

  15. Incognito 16

    @ Observer Tokoroa:

    You are currently banned for one month (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-02-06-2020/#comment-1717411).

    Lprent sent you an e-mail about you user names (https://thestandard.org.nz/todd-muller-is-no-jacinda-ardern/#comment-1714989), all 22 of them (https://thestandard.org.nz/todd-muller-is-no-jacinda-ardern/#comment-1715032 and https://thestandard.org.nz/internal-post-may-june-2020/#comment-1715007).

    Please stop wasting our time and stick to your user handle, thanks. If you have technical difficulties, e.g. with accessing TS, commenting, or replying to comments, please ask and we (i.e. lprent) will do our best when we have time.

  16. joe90 17

    The tRump shit-magnet attracts the world's worst people.

    Back in March, at the very beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, popular QAnon "citizen journalist" Greg Rubini started pushing the narrative that the novel coronavirus was created by the Deep State, in cahoots with Dr. Anthony Fauci, for the purposes of ruining the Trump economy. It was not the first absurd theory he had imagineered and put forth as the truth. The claim, among others, was picked up by OAN "journalist," granddaughter of fake psychic Allene "I've got the answers, call now" Cunningham, and author of one million non-existent young adult detective novels for girls who who hate feminism, Chanel Rion.

    Rion, at the time, described Rubini as "a citizen investigator and monitored source amongst a certain set in the DC intelligence community."

    Later, in May, Rion would pick up another of his claims — one that the Obama administration had enlisted foreign intelligence to spy on the Trump campaign — and, during a press briefing, ask Kayleigh McEneny, "So to what extent was [former CIA director] John Brennan involved with that?

    […]

    This incident set off investigations into Rion's past by outlets like the Daily Mail, which "exclusively" revealed stunning truths about her past that were reported here on Wonkette back in January of 2018 and by me, on Twitter, in February of that same year.

    Now a Buzzfeed investigation into Rubini/Palusa's past reveals that his entire life has been just a massive series of lies and delusions of grandeur.

    Palusa, it turns out, is from Triesta, a seaport in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeast Italy, although his last known area of residence was in Tuscany. Right now he claims to be a "Strategy Advisor at /classified/," but has also worked in design:

    https://www.wonkette.com/what-a-prominent-qanon-promoter-doesnt-have-insider-knowledge-is-just-some-dude-from-italy-no

    • joe90 17.1

      More shit.

      A new Trump appointee to the United States’ foreign aid agency has a history of online posts denouncing liberal democracy and has said that the country is in the clutches of a “homo-empire” that pushes a “tyrannical LGBT agenda.”

      In one post, Merritt Corrigan, who recently took up a position as deputy White House liaison at the U.S. Agency for International Development, wrote: “Liberal democracy is little more than a front for the war being waged against us by those who fundamentally despise not only our way of life, but life itself.”

      Corrigan’s new position in the Trump administration, confirmed by two officials, has not been previously reported.

      Corrigan previously worked for the Hungarian Embassy in the United States and tweeted that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is “the shining champion of Western civilization,” Politico reported last year. An embassy spokesman, Béla Gedeon, said Corrigan left her position there in mid-April.

      https://www.propublica.org/article/new-trump-appointee-to-foreign-aid-agency-has-denounced-liberal-democracy-and-our-homo-empire

  17. SPC 18

    For weeks, India's relatively low Covid-19 numbers had baffled experts. Despite the dense population, disease and underfunded public hospitals, there was no deluge of infections or fatalities.

    Although India has the sixth highest number of cases, it is 12th in fatalities, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University. Low testing rates explained the former, but not the latter. The hope – which also encouraged the government to lift the lockdown – was that most of India's undetected infections would not be severe enough to require hospitalisation.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52946508

    An article in the New York Times covered an important detail those with blood type A have the most severe cases – twice as likely to need oxygen and ventialtion. Apparently their stronger immune response causes inflammation.

    Whereas Europe/UK/USA and Japan have 40% blood type A – India has only 20%. China has 27% around the world average. The Polynesians have a higher rate than thre Europeans. Just as well our area is largely free of it.

    • In Vino 18.1

      Don't want to sound trivial, but an article in today's Herald said that it seemed that bald men were more susceptible to serious pneumonia Covid problems than men who had retained their head of hair. Is baldness related to blood group?

  18. joe90 19

    WSJ writers get their Red Scare/Yellow Peril on.

    Violent Protest and the Intelligentsia

    Scholar Gary Saul Morson sees disturbing parallels between Russia before the Revolution and contemporary America

    […]

    The similarities between this week’s riots and the Los Angeles riots of 1992 are obvious. Both were occasioned by appalling video images, and both divided the nation along partisan and ideological lines. The differences between the two events, however, are more revealing. The violence in 1992 came after a court verdict; the beating and arrest of Rodney King had happened more than a year before. This year’s riots came within days of George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis officers. The riots of 1992 were mostly confined to poor and working-class areas of Los Angeles. This week saw mayhem all over America, and in Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere the rioters targeted wealthy streets and neighborhoods.

    But perhaps the most striking difference is the rationalization, and sometimes full-throated defense, of violence from left-wing elites: the glorification of havoc, the vilification of cops and their middle-class admirers, highfalutin defenses of vandalism. The sense of revolution and class warfare was everywhere this week: the cognoscenti and underclass arrayed against the petty bourgeois shop owners; the elite and those they claim to represent against everybody else.

    Gary Saul Morson says he has no special insight regarding police actions and the death of George Floyd. But he does have a provocative thesis about America’s current political moment: “To me it’s astonishingly like late 19th-, early 20th-century Russia, when basically the entire educated class felt you simply had to be against the regime or some sort of revolutionary.”

    http://archive.li/e3ig7

    Get Ready for the Struggle Session

    In America, and even more so on Twitter, there’s a whiff of China’s Cultural Revolution in the air.

    […]

    In the mid-1960s Mao Zedong, suspicious of those around him, wary of the moves of erstwhile Soviet allies, damaged by a disastrous famine his policies had caused, surveyed the scene and decided it was time for a little mayhem. The problem wasn’t his disastrous ideology, it was, he wrote, “feudal forces full of hatred towards socialism . . . stirring up trouble, sabotaging socialist productive forces.” The party had been “infiltrated” by pragmatists and revisionists. He wrote—it is the epigraph of Frank Dikötter’s “The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, 1962-1976”—“Who are our friends? Who are our enemies? That is the main question of the revolution.”

    http://archive.li/8kioe

  19. sumsuch 20

    Far too much politics and far too little of ideals on the people's side. The latter always has to be far first. The Right has naked power.

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