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Open mike 07/02/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, February 7th, 2020 - 44 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

44 comments on “Open mike 07/02/2020”

  1. SPC 1

    Germany stares into the abyss of the 1930’s and decides to retreat/hold new elections in Thuringa.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51399445

    The problem remains – the Left (communists) and AFD have over 50% (c60) of the vote. The CD and SD (under 10%) and FD (barely threshold at 5%) together have under 40% of the vote.

    There are effectively three blocks, CD FD and SD, the Left and AFD and none can form a government.

    Most likely now is a shift from a FD Premier backed by the right to a SD Premier backed by everyone but AFD (it’s hard to see the Left backing one from the CD (or the FD after this).

    • swordfish 1.1

      .

      the Left (communists)

       

      Nyet Comrade Nyet

      One of Die Linke’s 2 main feeder Parties (PDS) certainly had its origins in East Germany’s ruling Socialist Unity Party (SED) – but the PDS founders were very much the new generation from the pro-Gorbachev pro-glasnost pro-perestroika Reformist wing (and were subsequently joined by various dissident leaders from the anti-communist Left) By the end of 89, the last hardline members had either resigned or been expelled

      PDS formed an electoral alliance with leading dissident Social Democrats (WASG), (including the former SPD leader, Oskar Lafontaine) in 2005 before unifying into a single left-wing party during 2007.

      Despite the usual “their just a bunch of commies” smears – the Party is in fact Democratic Socialist / Left Social Democrat & sits comfortably within the Nordic-style Green Left party grouping … (although it certainly includes different factions, ranging from the dominant Keynesian Social Democrats & Dem Socialists … to Libertarian Socialists … & on to the tiny minority Marxist–Leninist Communist Platform – the latter comprising only around 1% of the party’s national membership.)

    • Sabine 1.2

      communists….good grief. 

       

  2. Odd that Simon Bridges' speech at Waitangi didn't include this particular announcement

    "When we have moved past grievance, which I hope all New Zealanders would like to see at some point in time and those historic[al] issues with settlements have been full and final, you do have to say what is the role of the Waitangi Tribunal?" he said.

    I guess it would have taken a bit of personal courage to have said that in his speech while looking the people affected by it in the face, so it's understandable someone like him didn't do that.

  3. Bazza64 3

    Is Nga Puhi the only iwi that haven’t settled with government ? (Due to issues with accepting who is the representative iwi for that region). Or are other iwi groups still waiting to settle ? I thought Northland iwi was the final settlement due & when settled then Waitangi Tribunal would be wound up.

    • Roflcopter 3.1

      Ngāpuhi are last of the big Iwi to settle, but still others going through the process.

  4. Herodotus 4

    If a contractor to build roads with the Govt as a principle, has this attitude towards both Waitangi Day (Just another public holiday) and Staff welfare, then what doe sit say about who we as a country. I hope that there is follow up from up high about such an attitude. 🤬 

    "It is my expectation if you are not from [New Zealand] then all [e]ngineers should be in work tomorrow and use this day to catch up," the email read.

    "If you are from [New Zealand] and Waitangi Day is just another public holiday then I would appreciate if you are also at work."

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12306548

    • I Feel Love 4.1

      That is ridiculous. But maybe the guys who come on here every year to moan about Waitangi Day could protest by turning up to work instead of having a day off. 

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    "A recent video by Austria's Green Party celebrating their coming to power begins with a clip of their leader, Werner Kogler".  "I'm doing a Clint Eastwood," he says. "We ride into town and the rest surrender."

    Dunno if such machismo is appropriate.  "The Greens are the junior partner, after attracting 14% of the vote in elections last September, while the conservatives won 37%."  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51383838

    However it puts up a fascinating social experiment:  Greens + Conservatives = ?  Crash and burn, you'd think.  But the door is open to a new way ahead.  Could be those two political groups pioneer a constructive trend.  A blend of caution and progress is always feasible.  Self-discipline and group discipline will be essential for it to succeed!

  6. Muttonbird 6

    It dawns on the Maori Party that their interests and the interest of the National Party are antithesis.

    They have finally ditched the National Party.

    A good move by Che Wilson which could see their chances of regaining a seat improve significantly.

    I suspect Labour would welcome this now that is it apparent they and the Maori Party are now fighting for the same thing.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/409006/maori-party-president-wary-of-national-partnership-it-kicked-us-out

    • james 6.1

      "They have finally ditched the National Party."

      No they have not.  The expressed a preference to work with Labour – but would work with both parties – National would just have to have a bigger offer on the table.

       

      National Ditched NZFirst – saying that they will not work with them.

       

      See the difference.

       

      • riffer 6.1.1

        Yes agreed,

        For mine, I believe they're simply talking in a language National would understand – that it's essentially a competitive tender for the Maori Party's affections should they be fortunate enough to acquire any seats to get into Parliament.

        Can't see National saying they'd refuse to go into coalition with them because they don't believe in the Maori seats.  And they're so desperate to get back into power they'd happily outbid Labour for the Maori party's coalition "partnership". 

      • Robert Guyton 6.1.2

        " National would just have to have a bigger offer on the table."

        Not the same thing as:

        "If we ever do talk to National it will have to be a big deal for us to move that way again,'' Wilson said."

      • OnceWasTim 6.1.3

        Your sophustikayshun knows no bounds eh @ James. I'm truly in awe.

        Apologies to moderators and  the foreskins of the TS Police/ I realise it's a comment that contributes SFA to the discussion, but then we all have the occasional brain fart. And on a QI system of scoring, I think I'm probably in credit, although some sort of ban would probably be the best thing that could happen. It'd really cauterise my ability to comment rather than just peruse and do me a real favour in this space going forward

        Look at ……. yea/nah best not. Going back through James' history is a real mind fuck for the masochist

        Just want you to know @James – you really are gorgeous

        • James 6.1.3.1

          Yep. Sooooo much better to live in a little bubble of people who think the same and all agree. 
           

          even when they are wrong or telling lies. 
           

          thanks – I’m wearing a nice shirt today and feeing gorgeous as well. 

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    “The target is the minds of the American people,” says a former counter-terrorism head of the NSA. How to hit such tiny targets??  You'd need to employ nuclear physicists, who are trained to hit a minuscule nucleus amidst a vast amount of empty space.

    "Anthony Ferrante had just arrived for work at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next door to the White House, when the first attack hit. Around 7 a.m., internet service went out across the United States and parts of Europe. Reddit, Netflix, and The New York Times website wouldn’t load. Ferrante couldn’t check Twitter for updates because that was down too…  It was Friday, October 21st, 2016. In two weeks, Americans would pick a new president. When Ferrante, a director in the White House’s cybersecurity team, realized the internet had gone dark across the country, he feared the worst. Ferrante thought he was witnessing a dry run for an attack on the election."

    So this year, it won't just be the Russians coming.  Every man & his dog all over the world will be competing to see who can hack the US election system.  Shadow Inc has showed them US has electoral tech shambles galore, so we can expect spooks of all shapes and sizes to see who can destabilise it first.  I bet disgruntled American teenagers are at the head of the pack!!

    "Ferrante hacked his first computer when he was 10 and studied computer science at Fordham. He was destined for a cushy career as a cyber expert in the private sector when the September 11th attacks happened. He quit corporate America, joined the FBI, and specialized in tracking terrorists on the internet; in his first case at the bureau, he helped foil the terrorist plot to blow up the PATH train tunnel between New York and New Jersey. Over the next decade, he rose to become one of the FBI’s top cyber-security agents and helped write President Obama’s directive that created the first chain of command in the event of a major cyberattack on U.S. soil."

    Hire an outlaw to defend the establishment has been a thing since Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid.  "Other foreign nations, including Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and China, are getting in on the act. They’ll be joined, analysts say, by domestic actors — American consultants and candidates and click merchants borrowing and adapting Russia’s tactics to influence an election or make a quick buck. “The most important piece that I tell everybody,” Ferrante says, “is now that it’s been done once, everybody can do it.”"

    "The possible compromise of a few counties in a razor-thin race was enough to create doubt, if not inflict real damage, on voters’ perception of the election — and in the age of social media and the instantaneous flow of information, perception was reality. Classified documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Reality Winner revealed that Russian hackers tried to do just that, targeting a voting software company called VR Systems and local government offices right before the election. Today, thousands of county and state election offices are prime targets that need protection. “People will say the way we vote is so distributed and diverse and that makes it more resilient,” says Ferrante, the former FBI cybersecurity expert. “But it also introduces a lot of risk and creates a much larger attack surface.”"

    "At the 2018 DEFCON hacker conference, an 11-year-old hacked into a copycat version of Florida’s state election website and changed vote totals in less than 10 minutes. Only three states conduct mandatory, scientifically rigorous post-election audits to ensure the final vote count is accurate. “We’re still in a situation going into 2020 where there are significant gaps left in the security of election infrastructure,” says J. Alex Halderman, a University of Michigan computer science professor who studies voting equipment. “Until we ensure that all of the doors are locked, there will be ample opportunity for foreign adversaries to disrupt or, in the worst-case scenario, change the outcome of close elections.”"  https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/trump-election-hacking-russia-iran-ransomware-interference-938109/

  8. Muttonbird 8

    Farrar Watch:

    David Farrar's only post specific to Waitangi Day is a racist mock up of a Tintin cover depicting Maori as savages and Tintin and Haddock as threatened white men.

    Didn’t even have the guts to put his own name to the post.

    Says a lot about the man.

    • james 8.1

      "Didn’t even have the guts to put his own name to the post."

      Thats because its under the name of the person who posted it.

      There are plenty of post on thestandard that are written under "notices" – does that say something about the people who write them but dont put their name to their post?

       

       

      • weka 8.1.1

        The general principle here is that Notices and Features is for things the authors don't write. Sometimes there is an intro, and very occasionally some commentary, but by and large the point of that Author is for posting things from elsewhere. Where they are cross posted from somewhere else, the off-site author is clearly named. 

        • James 8.1.1.1

          Fair call. But lprent does not get called names for a post going up under another authors name – which is exactly what muttonbird is doing.

          the post clearly has the authors name on it and for muttonbirdbrain to infer that it’s farrar writing a post under other names (with zero evidence) is just bullshit.

          Others are often called to provide evidence of their claim – where is his / hers on this matter ?

          • Muttonbird 8.1.1.1.1

            From the Kiwiblog about page:

            Kokila Patel is the sub-editor…Kokila arranges the daily general debates, and the notices of upcoming political TV shows and the like.

            I guess "the like" must include posting racist cartoons on Waitangi Day!

            Seriously though, David Farrar does all the posts on Kiwiblog bar General Debate and, as it turns out, racist cartoons.

            If you think David Farrar doesn't endorse that post you are more deluded than I thought. And that was a lot.

            This is Farrar's way of causing division and stoking the fire of racial intolerance and he throws his sub-ed/helper under the bus rather than standing by it.

            Gutless man.

      • McFlock 8.1.2

        To be fair, if authors/editors started putting stuff like that up it would indeed say a lot about them, the culture of this site, as well as what it says about the original authors.

        Mods and authors here try to crack down on that sort of thing, not post it.

    • Robert Guyton 8.2

      Just picturing Farrar's guts fomenting…

      eeew!

  9. Dennis Frank 9

    "It’s Thursday afternoon, the Iowa caucuses ended Monday night, and we still do not know who won."  https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/iowa-caucus-democratic-primary-chaos-948677/

    "With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is leading in the popular vote, banking 44,753 votes to former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s 42,235. Sanders and Buttigieg are tied in pledged delegates, 11 a piece. And Buttigieg is narrowly leading Sanders in state delegate equivalents — 550 to Sanders’ 547 — the metric that has historically gauged success in the Iowa caucuses."

    "Sanders went ahead and declared victory in Iowa from New Hampshire on Thursday."  "Buttigieg has also declared victory. He did it first on Monday night".  Media reported then that zero results had been declared, so it was an exemplary performance of postmodernism.  Waiting for the results before declaring victory is ever so 20th century.

    "The New York Times examined the data from the more than 1,600 precincts and found errors in more than 100 precincts: from simple math errors to evidence that voters didn’t follow the hyperspecific rules".  Americans can't even follow specific rules, so why would anyone expect them to do hyperspecific??

    "Plan B — if the app failed, or if election officials failed to download it — was to report the numbers by phone, via a hotline set up for this specific purpose. But on caucus night, the hotline was a mess… the high call volume was not just a result of the app. The Iowa Democratic Party confirmed Thursday the caucus hotline “experienced an unusually high volume of inbound phone calls,” including calls from “supporters of President Trump who called to express their displeasure with the Democratic Party.  The unexplained, and at times hostile, calls contributed to the delay in the Iowa Democratic Party’s collection of results".

    But I still like Stephen Colbert's explanation best:  all those elderly volunteer electoral officials trying to download the app to tally the votes, onto their garage-door opener…

    • Nic the NZer 9.1

      I read that too. Further along in the article it is made clear Sanders didn't declare victory he just said that a lead in the popular vote and the same number of delegates was a good result.

      If Bernie gets to a delegate equivalent lead i think Pete the Cheat will stick permanently though.

  10. Dennis Frank 10

    Trotter ponders 2020 electoral strategy:  "Why bother to reconstruct Labour as a “broad church” when the same effect can be achieved by creating a broad political “faith” out of three separate parties"?  https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/02/07/jacindas-political-faith-broader-than-any-church/

    "Jacinda saw in Peters and NZ First precisely the sort of social-conservative hand-brake she and her government needed to protect itself from Labour’s policy enthusiasts and the chronically “woke” Greens."

    Light is right:  "Jacinda’s regime had no need of subterranean torture chambers to ensure compliance. A gift for diplomacy and the ability to inspire her fellow human-beings was all the new prime minister required, and she had both of those qualities – in spades! Call it “The Incredible Lightness of Being Jacinda”."

    "The first question Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have asked whenever a senior officer was recommended for promotion was: “Is he lucky?” Can it be doubted that Jacinda would have climbed very high in Napoleon’s Grand Armee? Has New Zealand ever had such a lucky prime minister? And has a new Zealand Leader of the Opposition ever provided his principal political rival with such a valuable gift?  By unequivocally ruling out NZ First as a possible coalition partner for National, Bridges has bolted Jacinda’s conservative handbrake firmly in place."

    "With her right flank secured, Jacinda can now re-orient her government decisively towards the moderate centre."  "One can only imagine Bridges’ dismay when he is finally forced to acknowledge that ruling out any kind of deal with NZ First was a very, very big mistake. When he realises that, in this country, both the Right and the Left get to the seat of power only after finding themselves a clear path to the Centre."

    My prediction:  his realisation will be postponed until he sees the election result.  Centrists will only shift across the line if given a good enough reason.  No such reason currently exists.

  11. Muttonbird 11

    Wonderful image of the powerful leadership and global peace-work the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern excels at.

    Forging real, non-military bonds between the West and the Muslim world is no easy task but our Prime Minister is doing it.

    Something decent Kiwis can be immensely proud of.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/119339965/burj-khalifa-lit-up-with-new-zealand-flag-for-waitangi-day

  12. mosa 12

    Chaos Continues in Iowa as Democrats Mistakenly Award Delegates for Bernie Sanders to Deval Patrick.

    https://www.democracynow.org/2020/2/6/iowa_caucuses_bernie_sanders_shadow_app

    Bernie to the Iowa Caucuses: Drop Dead

    https://www.motherjones.com/2020-elections/2020/02/bernie-to-the-iowa-caucuses-drop-dead/

    • Kevin 12.1

      And those were 'audited' votes as well.

      Bit sad when twitter users have to correct the already 'corrected' tallies.

  13. RedLogix 13

    Living in Brisbane we have very close connections to a Chinese family. Conditions in Wuhan are deteriorating daily. I'm hearing stories I don't want to repeat; partly because they're macabre and partly because I can't verify them.

    No-one trusts the CCP, I'm absolutely not on my own with this. The medical system is overwhelmed and many, many deaths seem to be occurring 'off the record'. Then we get this official announcement:

    Sun Chunlan, a vice premier in charge of the government response to the outbreak, gave the order to round up the infected and place them in isolation, quarantine or designated hospitals, The New York Times reports.

    Authorities in the city of 11 million people have scrambled to meet those instructions by setting up makeshift mass quarantine shelters this week, including in a sports stadium, exhibition centre and a building complex.

    Ms Sun said investigators should go to every home and check temperatures of every resident and interview the close contacts of infected patients. “Set up a 24-hour duty system. During these wartime conditions, there must be no deserters, or they will be nailed to the pillar of historical shame forever,” she said.

    When inspecting the Hongshan Stadium shelter on Tuesday, she said anyone who should be admitted must be rounded up. “It must be cut off from the source!” she said of the virus, according to Chinese news outlet Modern Express. “You must keep a close eye! Don’t miss it!”

    Posts circulating on social media have highlighted poor conditions at the makeshift facilities, with many complaining of freezing conditions, lack of medical staff and shortage of supplies.

     

    https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/china-pays-tribute-to-exhausted-coronavirus-staff-as-hospitals-scramble-for-supplies/news-story/95bb3b067270228d1b34f7fb2754070f

    It's risky trying to interpret the tone and underlying motivation behind this, but to me it strongly suggests the real numbers are much worse than being revealed at present. They have 50m people in lockdown, twice the population of Australia … how long can this be sustained?

    • Poission 13.1

      The absence of independent data from the Hubei area,would be expected.The arrest of whistleblower doctors for spreading false news in december,and downplaying the risk prior to the NY break ,allowed for underestimating the risk (with its fat tail)

      Politically it would have been difficult for the CCP.If say NZ had an outbreak of a disease say prior to Xmas here,and the authorities said NZ had to shut down (no xmas shopping or travel) what would have been the response by the commenteriat.

      On the otherside of the argument negation of WHO guidelines,such as fast publication of real risks,with solutions (such as Cordon sanitaire) seemed to have constrained offshore spread.

      https://www.academia.edu/41743064/Systemic_Risk_of_Pandemic_via_Novel_Pathogens_-_Coronavirus_A_Note

    • Oh how easy it is to be cynical about the Chinese government.

       

      A disease, we are being told, is most serious for the old and the young, has killed the 34 year old whistle-blower doctor in Wuhan.

       

      How terrible convenient! His voice can no longer be heard!

      • Poission 13.2.1

        The party line  is to constrain heretics.

        Which is why the CCP has transferred a battalion of bullshitters to Wuhan.

        While such regulations could be seen to stifle and suppress information about the outbreak, they're not new, but a standard part of China's tightly controlled information system.

        More intriguing is the announcement, trumpeted by state TV, that the Communist Party's Central Propaganda Department has dispatched 300 journalists to Wuhan and Hubei province.

        According to state media, China's leader Xi Jinping has tasked them with "clear requirements" for "education and public opinion guidance", to "help win the battle to control the epidemic".

        https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-06/has-china-been-covering-up-the-coronavirus/11932982

  14. mary_a 14

    Tony Veitch (not etc) @13.2 … A reminder as to what happens when citizens defy Chinese authority IMO!     

    Dr Li paid the ultimate price for being truthful, exposing the seriousness of the coronavirus to his colleagues.

    RIP Dr Li. 

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