Open mike 07/06/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 7th, 2020 - 157 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 …

157 comments on “Open mike 07/06/2020 ”

  1. The Chairman 1

    Where will New Zealand's heart lie in the new cold war with China?

    https://youtu.be/taAHtUDo18Q

    • RedLogix 1.1

      An informed view from Kevin Rudd.

      Yet despite the best efforts of ideological warriors in Beijing and Washington, the uncomfortable truth is that China and the United States are both likely to emerge from this crisis significantly diminished. Neither a new Pax Sinica nor a renewed Pax Americana will rise from the ruins. Rather, both powers will be weakened, at home and abroad. And the result will be a continued slow but steady drift toward international anarchy across everything from international security to trade to pandemic management. With nobody directing traffic, various forms of rampant nationalism are taking the place of order and cooperation. The chaotic nature of national and global responses to the pandemic thus stands as a warning of what could come on an even broader scale.

      Or a similar article published locally:

      "As the world looked for American leadership in responding to what was becoming a global crisis, both in public health and in the economy, that American leadership was not forthcoming."

      Rudd said America was effectively withdrawing from leading international bodies, including the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Human Rights Council and the World Health Organisation.

      "You could list the other institutions from which the Americans are absenting themselves," he said.

      "The response in Beijing is hip hip hooray! There hasn't even been a fight at the O.K. Corral. Instead, the Americans have simply said, 'we're not here anymore.'"

      Which is something I've been saying for a while now. The entire post WW2 global order has been based on an implicit US security of trade guarantee; and now the Yanks are going home. I realise the rabid anti-US left will think this is good news, but fail completely to imagine anything replacing it.

      • Anne 1.1.1

        The entire post WW2 global order has been based on an implicit US security of trade guarantee; and now the Yanks are going home. I realise the rabid anti-US left will think this is good news, but fail completely to imagine anything replacing it.

        Well as someone relatively uninformed in matters to do with Foreign Affairs, may I start the ball rolling:

        Is it perhaps time to bury the chequered past and build cordial relations with Russia – Putin not withstanding? They are a resilient nation with an incredible cultural past who, despite their tendencies towards authoritarian rule, seem to be considerably more stable than their American counterparts.

        For example if America chooses to isolate itself from the rest of the world and under the Trump regime that is going to the outcome… then maybe other alliances need to be explored for future world stability.

        Which reminds me:

        A series of podcasts entitled "The Service" concerning NZ responses to the Cold War years begins this coming Monday (8th June) on RNZ. It promises to reveal for the first time a major operation which took place in 1986 around the time of the anti-nuclear legislation passed by the Lange government. Sounds like it could be very interesting – especially for those of us who were impacted during the 70s and 80s for our anti-nuclear beliefs.

        • Andre 1.1.1.1

          Sure. Let's swap milk powder for Ladas. The Niva is still in production, and there's even a five-door model now!

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.1

            There is no obvious opportunity between Russia and NZ. Much more valuable would be an unprecedented rapport between Germany and Russia … that would be a massive game changer for both nations.

            • Andre 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Maybe we can swap milk powder for nukes? No?

            • Anne 1.1.1.1.1.2

              I was distracted from my line of thought by an outside source. 🙂

              Hence I forgot to add the necessary proviso of a close link with a strong Europe. Germany is the obvious choice. Has the advantage of balancing the negative forces currently emanating from America with the more positive vibes from a relatively stable Europe.

              • francesca

                In 2014 a trade delegation was practically on the plane to Russia for a FTA when Crimea happened ,so had to pull back

                Meanwhile Fonterra went quietly on trading

                Then in 2018 Winston was once more making noises about resuming the FTA with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan when the schemoozle in Salisbury happened

                I remember the British Ambassador being quite strident about a unified stand against Russia .Winston folded, but I think his idea had been to lessen our dependence on China

                https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/countries-and-regions/europe/russia/#:~:text=On%209%20November%202010%2C%20New,following%20events%20in%20the%20Ukraine.

                • RedLogix

                  Thanks for that link. I was probably too dismissive of our trade relationship with Russia; it has value and when opportunities arise they should be taken.

                  But geo-politically the ability of NZ and Russia to trade is largely predicated on secure shipping between Vladivostok and Auckland, and long thin trans-shipment across Siberia by rail. It's a less than ideal route in an unstable world, one that neither nation would necessarily be able to defend.

                • Anne

                  And the idea of setting up a trade deal with Russia goes back to the 1970s. Dr. William Sutch was attempting to set in motion a trade deal with the Soviets when he was pinged by the SIS as a KGB agent. In those days paranoia was so rampant, a person only needed to look at a Soviet Official and he/she was deemed to be a spy. 🙄

                  Poor old Sutch. It killed him in the end and his crime? He was years ahead of his time.

        • RedLogix 1.1.1.2

          Is it perhaps time to bury the chequered past and build cordial relations with Russia

          Would be one of my dearest wishes too. I whole-heartedly agree with your view of the Russian people.

          I'm very ambivalent about Putin; on the scale of authoritarian threat he's nowhere near as dangerous Xi Xinping. He's a remarkably intelligent and strategic thinker, and has the interests of his people at heart. He stands head, shoulders and a fair bit of the torso above any other Russian leader of the past 200 years.

          Yet Russia is not a liberal country, and it has almost no democratic tradition of accountability that we would recognise, much of their most senior political leadership is drawn from the intelligence community (and very thin in numbers) and facing intractable defense challenges, Putin is probably the best kind of leader you could hope for in such an environment. And someone the West has betrayed numerous times, much to our long term detriment.

          then maybe other alliances need to be explored for future world stability.

          From the perspective of NZ, the obvious immediate option is as SE Asian alliance pulling together Japan, Korea, Taiwan (as a fully independent nation), Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and of course Australia.

          If I was running MFAT I'd have my professionals working their peer contacts in these nations as hard as, exploring possibilities and laying the ground work for a full on trade and defense alliance in the SE Asian region. I'd be very optimistic the time is now right for this.

          • Anne 1.1.1.2.1

            In total agreement including the torso bit. 😉

          • sumsuch 1.1.1.2.2

            Russia has had circumstances but I won't hear of her being not up to democracy. Which is to say, the principle of fairness which all humans are, by definition, up to.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.2.2.1

              You need to read more carefully; my point is that Russia has very little history democracy, and given the way the democratic West so grossly betrayed the Russians in the 90's you can hardly blame them for not being keen on repeating the experiment.

              Of course you are right, there is no reason why with time and the right circumstances a more robust Russian democracy may well emerge.

              • sumsuch

                I educated myself on Turgenev, and, most of all, Chekhov — that's the specific basis of my belief Russia deserves democracy. That they spoke to me via human ideals. Read all the Russian novelists. Preferred them.

                • roblogic

                  Heard of Aleksandr Dugin?

                  Dugin’s ideas have attracted allies in the West to the pursuit of a new anti-liberal world order based on a rejection of individual freedoms and human rights in favour of traditional cultural hierarchies. As a leader of Russia’s National Bolshevik Party, Dugin fostered a broad alliance of reactionary radicals with a goal of “leftist fascism and rightist communism.” His philosophy has been adopted in service of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s political project to resurrect a Russian-led empire in Europe and Asia. He has enjoyed so much influence that the magazine Foreign Affairs dubbed him “Putin’s Brain.”

                  Dr. Michael Millerman gave a fascinating talk about Dugin's ideas and stinging critique of the liberal democratic order, and how Western ideals are viewed in Russia (available somewhere on YT). I doubt Russian democracy would look anything like what we have in Europe

                  • sumsuch

                    Putin is a shit. Sure, our democracies don't mostly include the heart of people's rule. It at least requires a commanding attitude, where NZ fell through. It mostly requires a party devoted to the rule of the people, like Scandinavia. Democracy always looks similar, why I've found America suspect.

      • Incognito 1.1.2

        Anarchy or entropy?

        • Sacha 1.1.2.1

          ..come together in perfect harmony

        • RedLogix 1.1.2.2

          Until we collectively build a global institution that takes the place of, and improves on the US led order, then it will be a fair bit of both.

          On the active anarchy side of the question we will see the three traditional areas of the world prone to hot conflict re-emerge.

          China is already under considerable internal stress and the death-throes of the CCP cannot help but be ugly.

          Once all the major players in the Middle East realise the US is no longer interested in imposing a political reality in the region, it will be 'burn it all down' time. Oil shipments in particular will become deeply insecure.

          Europe faces a choice of either dramatically reforming the EU to become a full federal integrating the divergent interests of Northern and Southern Europe, or collapsing into the very tribal hot wars that were the reason it was formed in the first place. Again without the US imposing a military reality in the region, it will default to the old ones.

          Mass migrations, especially out of sub-Saharan Africa, will continue to stress Europe's ability to economically and socially integrate. Nigeria remains one of the few large nations struggling with both mass absolute poverty and very high population growth. (The two are always closely correlated.)

          On the entropy side the collapse of the trade order means the prosperity building of the post WW2 era comes to an end in many places. Climate change and environmental degradation will continue to erode our natural capital, and COVID 19 will not the last pandemic.

          In human terms we are much more sensitive to the prospect of losing what we have, than the possibility of getting something we don't yet have. As both anarchy and entropy continue to accelerate we will see populations everywhere react badly. Populists and autocrats will gain more power, liberal democracy will be on the retreat everywhere it cannot or is not defended.

      • adam 1.1.3

        I see Rudd proving once again proving he is the enemy of the left.

        Have to say redlogix your lack of imagination on this issue is a bit disappointing. Anarchy is always preferable to a one world government. Seriously, the lead players in that racket are racist, misogynistic, empire building, elitist dogfuckers.

        • RedLogix 1.1.3.1

          Anarchy is always preferable to a one world government.

          One world government, or more probably a global federation of all the nations, is absolutely inevitable. It is the direction history has been heading in for at least 10,000 years or more. A progressive model of history, one built on the idea of increasing capacity for of larger and more complex societies, and broader more inclusive moral horizons is supported by all the evidence.

          By contrast anarchy, however you care to define it, has absolutely no track record other than abject failure by comparison.

          Setting aside any subjective judgement on the two models, it seems the one you are backing has been firmly rejected by evolution if nothing else.

          • adam 1.1.3.1.1

            So your going with racist, misogynistic, empire building, elitist dogfuckers then.

          • roblogic 1.1.3.1.2

            Judging by the postures of current superpowers, the only form of global unity they seek is at gunpoint; one global empire imposing its will on everyone else.

            Geography, the end of cheap oil, and human nature makes a global government very unlikely, and I don't want to be around to see it.

            According to apocalyptic literature, Armageddon has to occur before we get 1000 years of peace.

    • Andre 1.2

      Maybe hold off leaning either way until after January 21 next year.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Have you read this?! The pitchforks are coming for us plutocrats

    "Revolutions, like bankruptcies, come gradually, and then suddenly. One day, somebody sets himself on fire, then thousands of people are in the streets, and before you know it, the country is burning. And then there’s no time for us to get to the airport and jump on our Gulfstream Vs and fly to New Zealand. That’s the way it always happens. If inequality keeps rising as it has been, eventually it will happen. We will not be able to predict when, and it will be terrible—for everybody. But especially for us."

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014?fbclid=IwAR2XYIAwEYVR7bqZbKwX0ooFVJGrf9Q4KeNpOkYfr8_xm8Zfjny_aDW6ySU

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        Sorry. I did it again. Enthusiasm over-rode memory. Plus, early morning.

    • francesca 2.2

      Really interesting Robert , but note not one word about climate catastrophe and the folly of perpetual growth , or the hazards of a culture mired in endless consumerism.

      Just, if plutocrats are to survive we need to cut the commoners a bit of slack so they can afford to buy our useless crap

      The guy has balls all the same

      • Sacha 2.2.1

        'Stop hoarding wealth because climate change' is a much harder sell. He knows who he needs to convince and it's not us.

      • Grafton Gully 2.2.2

        Consume more locally grown food, craft items and locally owned and staffed factory produced goods made to last and be repairable and recyclable. Somehow direct the yearning for brand new status symbol cars, houses, clothes, boats to items that condense individual wealth, like art works, jewellery and accessories. Grand old houses, old boats and old cars in posh parts of Auckland show that recycled goods actually enhance status.

      • Robert Guyton 2.2.3

        Yes, francesca, you are quite right. His thinking still bound by his culture but he's stirring that up from within and that's encouraging. He's ripe, I think, for an epiphany that shifts the location of his awareness from his cranium to his chest 🙂

        • Sacha 2.2.3.1

          Hanauer has had 6 years since it was published. Wonder where his thinking is at now?

          • Andre 2.2.3.1.1

            Googling Hanauer turns up plenty.

            He's still pushing on the problems caused by inequity and the unrestrained pursuit and accumulation of wealth. He still appears to be fundamentally a capitalist, but wants the capitalism in a mixed economy to be much better managed and regulated, as well as getting the wealthy and highly-paid to contribute much more back to maintaining the society that enabled their wealth and high pay.

          • Robert Guyton 2.2.3.1.2

            Ought we to snuff out signs of intelligent life when they arrive only partly-formed?

            • francesca 2.2.3.1.2.1

              He's definitely on to it and being a trillionaire has a far better chance of communicating those ideas to his peers than anyone else further down the food chain

    • Sacha 2.3

      We even get a mention:

      Revolutions, like bankruptcies, come gradually, and then suddenly. One day, somebody sets himself on fire, then thousands of people are in the streets, and before you know it, the country is burning. And then there’s no time for us to get to the airport and jump on our Gulfstream Vs and fly to New Zealand. That’s the way it always happens. If inequality keeps rising as it has been, eventually it will happen.

      • AB 2.3.1

        Time to disabuse these guys of the belief that they have the option to come here.

    • Molly 2.4

      The same guy, Nick Hanauer did a Ted Talk way back when about how rich people don't create jobs:

      https://youtu.be/CKCvf8E7V1g

    • Maurice 2.5

      A friend visited a rural home recently and they were sweeping up broken glass

      Behind the door was a narrow tall display case with a notice inside

      "IN CASE OF TYRANNY BREAK GLASS"

      There were two empty pegs near the top …

      and the outline of a …..

      PITCH FORK

  3. aj 3

    Yes. Some of the 0.1% are awake.

  4. aj 4

    Sacha, you need to run a post on putting an internet link onto text enlightened

    • Sacha 4.1

      Not at all – I hardly do that myself.

    • Andre 4.2

      Or perhaps something about the harm Facebook is doing to political discourse and why everyone should delete Facebook from their devices and their lives, and especially should never ever ever click on a Facebook-mediated link.

      • Sacha 4.2.1

        I'm mainly concerned about the 'readability' of the link for other people. Makes it harder to decide whether to click or not.

        • aj 4.2.1.1

          'readability' of the link

          That's true, although you can rest you mouse over a hyperlink and check the destination.

          • Sacha 4.2.1.1.1

            Extra cruft makes it harder to identify the destination whether the link is visible in full or only when hovering. It’s a tax on attention, and for what benefit.

          • Andre 4.2.1.1.2

            I find that having to take extra action to see where a link goes makes it less likely I will actually bother with it. And I have yet to bother to find out the equivalent of hovering on the other devices I use.

            Because of that, I'll embed a link when it's just backup for a point, or further info a particularly interested reader may find interesting. But if directing a reader to the link is the main point of the comment, then having the link right out in the open works better for me.

      • gsays 4.2.2

        The problem isn't just FB, anyone with a pulse or a skerrick of decency would stop using it after the Chch murders.

        There seems to be a deep, almost primal need to be 'connected', whether it is extreme FOMO, the pain of not knowing something when google is right there or some other driver.

        I have had a few conversations lately where someone else's phone/internet/device habits are having a profoundly negative effect on a relationship.

        I suppose what I am getting at is FB etc, are merely tools, the problem is we are misusing the tools.

        • Andre 4.2.2.1

          Sometimes tools are fine and the problem is indeed users are misusing them.

          Sometimes there is something fundamentally problematic with the actual tools.

          Sometimes the tool supplier is fundamentally problematic.

  5. Instead of berating those who can't quite bring themselves to vote for a tired old white plutocrat with a penchant for pawing small children and uninvited sniffing of female hair, why not attempt to understand?

    Insulting them as purists and morons doesn't work

    Here's a fairly robust statement from Caitlin Johnstone in a longer opinion piece

    "And that is exactly what a US president’s real job is. Not to end police brutality and systemic racism, not to make changes which benefit the American people, and certainly not to make the world a less violent and murderous place, but to say pretty words which lull the public into a pleasant propaganda-induced coma while the sociopathic oligarchs who really run things rob them blind."

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/55184.htm

    And a much longer and considered article by Jonathan Cook

    excerpt

    "If the US has a cynical political system, deeply corrupted by money, younger voters wonder whether adding to that cynicism – with the left always voting for one of two evil candidates – can actually ever change the system or simply reinforces it. The older left has failed politically. But might one of the reasons be that for decades it has acted so cynically? Younger voters want to break with cynical politics. If the left is ever going to start looking more attractive, they argue, it needs to stop engaging cynically with a cynical system."

    https://braveneweurope.com/jonathan-cook-why-the-lefts-case-for-lesser-evil-sounds-hollow

    • gsays 5.1

      Not wanting to distract from the above pieces, Bill Hicks said this over 25 years ago.

      That's the thing with truth, it does not change.

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

      Edit: Contains the odd ‘f-bomb’.

    • Morrissey 5.2

      … can't quite bring themselves to vote for a tired old white plutocrat with a penchant for pawing small children and uninvited sniffing of female hair…

      That is not the reason why he's a terrible person and a terrible candidate. Nor is it his notorious habit of lying. Nor is it his cretinous decision to plagiarize from, of all people, Neil Kinnock. What makes Biden unacceptable to millions of people with a conscience is the fact that he has been on the wrong side of nearly every major moral and political issue during his career in politics.

      https://consortiumnews.com/2019/07/31/how-joe-biden-fueled-the-latin-american-migration-crisis/

      https://www.truthdig.com/articles/jeremy-scahill-makes-the-definitive-case-against-joe-biden/

      https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1239358590013620224?lang=en

      • Andre 5.2.1

        Useful idiots gonna useful idiot.

        At this point in the political cycle, it doesn't matter whether the motivation is moronism or actual malice, the net effect of whining about Biden's flaws without mention of the Fanta Fascist's vastly worse heinousness on every topic is to functionally act as another soldier in the army of Drumpfkins. So stick it up your ass back where it came from.

        https://arcdigital.media/why-are-internet-radicals-helping-putins-russia-6ff2978b172e

        • Morrissey 5.2.1.1

          Glenn Greenwald, Max Blumenthal, and Jeremy Scahill are "useful idiots"? That's a lot funnier than your lame "Fanta Fascist" and "Drumpfkin" quips.

          • Andre 5.2.1.1.1

            At this stage Blumenthal and Greenwald have definitely reached useful idiot status (or worse), despite what bright spots they may have in their previous work. Or whatever rare lucid good points they may still make.

            TBH, I haven't paid much attention to Scahill. But publishing that piece on March 10 after the primary was effectively decided, rather than earlier when the facts and arguments could have made a difference, strongly suggests Scahill has also attained useful idiot status (or worse).

            • AB 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Just to be clear Andre – are you requiring that people simply not mention Biden's obvious flaws in case that contributes in some way to Trump's re-election? And if everyone goes obediently silent in this manner, will they be allowed to resume saying these things when Biden becomes President? Or will that also be disallowed as undermining Biden's presidency and contributing to the possible victory of whatever Republican monster follows Trump?

              Just wondering, that if we voluntarily suspend truth-telling, under what circumstances we get it back.

              • Andre

                I expect those that present themselves as some sort of journalists to occasionally pay some attention to the monstrosities committed by the incumbent in between bagging the much milder failings of the alternative (that does not hold power). Greenwald in particular has conspicuously failed to do this.

                Sure, when anyone is in power, hold them to account. But I do expect to see a sense of proportion and consideration of the big picture before I'll consider someone to be worth paying attention to. The likes of Johnstone, Blumenthal, Mate and others apparently held in high regard by convergence moonbats fail badly on that score

                • Nic the NZer

                  Sure, because the only good independent journalism is when it sings from the same mainstream song sheet.

                • AB

                  There is a properly nuanced position somewhere in all this. I thought in this interview with Marianne Williamson she got close to it. At one point saying something like, "I don't want to say anything that will further increase cynicism about the Democratic nominee" but at the same time she stressed the need for "radical truth-telling". I had previously thought she was a bit nutty, so was wrong on that.

              • mauī

                It is the wonderful political strategy of – "Vote for sleepy joe or else.."

                • The Al1en

                  It is the wonderful political strategy of – "Vote for sleepy joe or else.."

                  Close, Ainsley, close. It may not be wonderful, but It's the only likely strategy to avoid the 'or else'.

                  Unless a third party candidate emerges and starts polling over 30%, and splits all states to a three way fight, if Usians don't vote for Biden, that means they're okay with Trump for another four years. It's that simple.

                  • McFlock

                    And the "or else" is now pretty fucking obviously terrible.

                    • adam

                      The "or else" of working people will catch onto the con of the eliets and dogfucker politicans who support their oppression.

                  • mauī

                    Ok.. thanks for wading in and showing the strategy in action.

                    • McFlock

                      What's your strategy?

                      Whinge about biden and hope he still wins? Or whinge about Biden in the hope dolt45 gets re-elected and things get even worse?

              • RedLogix

                Just wondering, that if we voluntarily suspend truth-telling, under what circumstances we get it back.

                Indeed, very well put. This 'lesser of two evils' race to the bottom has no exit lane. Trump in my view is a high functioning psychopath, but the reason why so many Americans feel they have no political choice can be summed up in two words … Clinton, Biden.

                • Nic the NZer

                  Many Americans seem to have voted against Clinton. She really was a terrible choice probably worse than the 2020 presumptive nominee.

                  The problem is that Biden will be so vulnerable during term that objectivity will at earliest be established after he is done. For some reason Andre seems against both pressure to move left on policy and an examination of weaknesses of the candidate both of which Trump will be attacking. Its hard to understand why he wants the democrats to run such a weak candidate. My best guess is that he is enjoying the politics as name calling.

                  • Ad

                    They've got what they've got now.

                    Both sides are quibbling about their own, but it's just distraction.

                    It's Biden or Trump – there's no pretending anything else.

                    Their weaknesses and strengths are best considered at head-to-head time.

                • Gabby

                  Or, yankistan suffers from collective psychpathy and sees nothing wrong with the liar Chump.

        • Adrian Thornton 5.2.1.2

          @ Andre, Do you realize that every time someone critiques Biden you come on here all frothing at the mouth and the first thing you say is that they are whining, every damn time…so OK we all get it, we all know you are a lap dog of the liberal status quo, so unless you have anything new or relevant to bring t the debate, why don't you go and yap yap yap somewhere else.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zju5s5PyDY

          • Ad 5.2.1.2.1

            Who is the US Green Party Presidential candidate?

            • francesca 5.2.1.2.1.1

              Don't think they've fixed on one yet

              Jill Stein is still there , and Ralph Nader, there may even be some congress type person

              • Ad

                Exactly.

                The actual voter desire for an alternative to Trump or Biden is near-zero.

                So much so that the hard left (and indeed the Libertarians) have yet to even propose one.

        • adam 5.2.1.3

          Oh ahhh right wing slurs "Useful idiots"

          Why not throw in "Putin Puppet" or "reds under the bed" or some other horse shit anti left slur whilst your at it Andre.

          Total class mate, total class.

    • Macro 5.3

      plutocrat with a penchant for pawing small children

      That accusation is simply a disgusting smear that has been perpetuated by sick people who have an unworthy political agenda. The accusation is based upon a photo take out of context and when the truth is revealed shows just how despicable the accusation is.

      The photo has not been edited, but it has been cropped and taken out of context. The image shows Joe Biden and his grandson Robert Hunter Biden II at Beau Biden’s funeral on June 6, 2015. Robert is one of the two children the late Beau Biden had with his wife Hallie Biden. Footage of the exact moment in which the picture was taken shows that Joe was comforting his grandson Robert, who had just lost his father.

      The original, uncropped photograph was taken by the AP ( here ).

      Video showing the photographed moment gives us context. It shows Biden comforting Robert before entering St. Anthony of Padua church in Wilmington, Delaware, where the service was held ( here ). Biden can be seen touching his grandson’s head, before pulling him toward him and appearing to kiss his cheek. He then pats Robert’s back.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-biden-holding-boys-head/false-claim-photo-shows-joe-biden-inappropriately-holding-boys-face-idUSKBN2103E2

      If a grandfather cannot comfort his grandson at the funeral of his father it's a pretty sick world.

      • francesca 5.3.1

        There are others Macro .I personally had not ever heard of the grandson thing and don't think it has been widely published .

        The ones I refer to are young girls

        • Macro 5.3.1.1

          The ones I refer to are young girls

          If you make a statement such as that you either prove it or shut up.

          “MUCH ADO ABOUT THAT FORUM: Vivi, the 10-year-old girl who asked Biden a question at Tuesday’s AFT forum, is “proud” of her interaction with him, according to a new statement from her teacher, even if social media seized on it as another “creepy Biden” moment.

          — The teacher, Lucia Moreno, a Houston Federation of Teachers member, released a statement through her union after receiving several media calls on Wednesday about the moment. After Biden answered Vivi’s question, he told her, “I’ll bet you’re as bright as you are good-looking.” When she told him her favorite subject is journalism, he led her to the back to meet the press corps and stood behind her with his hands on her shoulders.

          — Pictures of the moment made the rounds on Twitter, with some calling it “creepy.” Just before entering the race, Biden weathered allegations that his handsy style made some women uncomfortable.

          — Moreno, who runs an after-school journalism program, gave this statement: “I took two of my students to the AFT Votes Town Hall with Vice President Biden yesterday to show them the power of journalism, activism and politics, and I was deeply proud that Vivi — who is the daughter of a Salvadoran immigrant — was able to ask the Vice President a question and interact with him directly. After the event when I spoke to her mother, she told me she would treasure the experience of her daughter meeting a politician who believes in family values and understands the experiences of immigrants. Today, when we returned to the classroom, Vivi was equally proud of the moment and excited to tell the entire school about the learning experience she had.”

          https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-education/2019/05/30/two-2020-contenders-argue-school-meals-should-be-free-for-all-students-441900

      • Patricia 2 5.3.2

        Well said, Macro. The death of Beau Biden was well documented at the time. His brother can be seen comforting the boy Robert earlier in the video. Only very sick minds would think of using a still photo in such a way.

  6. Sacha 6

    Hooton confirmed on the payroll: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12337682

    Todd Muller's new hire likely to cause disquiet among National MPs

    • The man's gotta live to the lifestyle he's accustomed to, and after all, prostitution is legal – in fact it's almost become fashionable among those that don't have to rely on it.

      (See your 8 below – case in point)

  7. UncookedSelachimorpha 7

    Super rich guy Tom Sturgess makes donation of $100k to eco-sanctuary, headline news. What wonderful generosity etc.

    Tom Sturgess wealth according to NBR rich list 2014: $280m (donation = 0.04% of that, $1 for every $2500 he has)

    Median net wealth of NZers: $340k. Equivalent donation = $122

    Instead of handing all the power to the rich people, tax them and fund things that we all support with public spending.

    Wealth tax!

    • Francesca 7.1

      To be fair that's not the only contribution Sturgess makes

      He runs a very generous community fund and has helped out local not for profit organizations heaps

      He runs his farms well,treats his workers well,stayed away from the easy profits of dairy and bought up businesses that are all about production and jobs

      He doesn't strip and sack

      He,s Rich ok but he hasn't cut and run

      Been a citizen for over 20 years

      The eco sanctuary is the better for his input

  8. Morrissey 9

    More groveling towards the bludgers this morning, from the usual suspects RNZ National, Sunday 7 June 2020, 9:48 a.m.

    JIM MORA: Are the people of Los Angeles still charmed by Harry and Meghan?

    RUSSELL MYERS: [speaking slowly and deliberately to convey gravitas] I think L.A. is charmed by Harry and Meghan… [skip several minutes of blather]…. I think they've played an absolute BLINDER during the coronavirus crisis.

    JIM MORA: All right, and finally Prince Andrew. Gone, and never coming back, Russell?

    RUSSELL MYERS: I don't think there's any way back for Andrew, and probably that's a good thing overall. ….

    9:44 Prince Harry's Los Angeles plans 'in tatters'

    Having provoked a crisis in the monarchy and furor in the media when he and wife Meghan Markle asked the Queen to step down as senior royals in January, Prince Harry's Los Angeles dream is turning into something of a nightmare due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Daily Mirror Royal Editor Russell Myers joins the show with all the latest. https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday

    https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2018/01/dont-mention-hookers-or-cocaine.html

    https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2018/05/murdering-rich-bastard-condemned-around.html

  9. Andre 10

    A good read on the really uncomfortable relationship between the broader union movement and police unions.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-labor-movement-faces-a-reckoning-over-police-unions_n_5eda9958c5b640424ef70cd2

    • RedLogix 10.1

      The Unions have been part of the Republican alliance for some time now. The Democrats abandoned their class interests in favour of identity politics. Most union members are in highly diverse ethnically and the movement as a whole voted with their feet.

      As for the Police Unions, maybe we need to understand these are ordinary working class people doing a tough, shitty and essential job.

      Progressives are quick to (correctly) note that the roots of crime are socially and culturally constructed. But they are more reluctant to accept the reality that one reason for the prevalence of police brutality may be that police are operating in brutal environments. Rates of post-traumatic stress disorder among police officers are much higher than among the general population; around one in four police officers has suicidal thoughts.

      In the New Yorker profile of Darren Wilson—the police officer who killed the African American teenager Michael Brown in the city of Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, setting off the Black Lives Matter movement—what struck me the most was how much violence Wilson had encountered before he ever met Brown. At one stop, he was met with the bodies of two dead women and a two-year-old child covered in blood crawling between them. It is possible that the anti-social or violent behavior by both common criminals and the police is influenced by the environments they live and work in as well.

      In other words: If we want to reduce police shootings, we have to reduce violent crime. “The strongest implication from our data is if we can reduce those crime rates, we are going to decrease the number of people who are fatally shot by police,” Johnson said.

      • Andre 10.1.1

        Yet even such reactionary organisations such as the Charles Koch Institute finds that practices such as the militarisation of police are really unhelpful for police doing the job the community expects from them and disengages the police from the community.

        https://www.charleskochinstitute.org/issue-areas/criminal-justice-policing-reform/militarization-of-police/

        • RedLogix 10.1.1.1

          What about the Second Ammendment militarisation of the population? A nation that permits open carry ensures a literal arms race between the population and the police.

          Yet if the US can avoid burning down the White House in the next week or so, I'm very hopeful for their long term prospects.

          Race is of course one element of this event; but it's not the only one. The destruction of good US manufacturing jobs is directly responsible for the deprivation and alienation of minority working class. The good news is that these jobs are going to be re-shored from China over the next few years.

          The US will trend very successfully toward an autarky. No matter how hard it tries to fuck it up, it has all the regional security and resources necessary, combined with it's uniquely benign and productive geography. If these protests succeed in triggering serious political reform they will have been entirely justified.

          Even before the pandemic, and well before the George Floyd horror, Andrew Yang was saying that vast numbers of ordinary Americans no longer believe their political system serves their needs. The pandemic has of course only served to increase inequality, already at record highs.

          • Andre 10.1.1.1.1

            It's notable which protests drew the militarised response: it was the unarmed protests with large proportions of people of colour. When the almost exclusively white gun nutters showed up with their weapons they got the softly softly kid gloves response. That difference will have been well noted.

            • RedLogix 10.1.1.1.1.1

              What is also noted is that the left whole-heartedly approves of strong military responses to white protesters, while silently standing by on the looting and violence enabled under the cover the broader, mostly peaceful, BLM protests.

              Let's be clear on what we agree on: George Floyd's death … fucked up; protest bad policing and economic insecurity … fine. Looting, arson and beating up shopkeepers protecting their livelihoods … fucked up. 95% of everyone left and right, lines up to tick these boxes.

              Unless of course your real goal is to 'burn it all down'. In which case a full metal jacket military response is the only option.

              • Andre

                No argument about what's fucked up. But take a good look at who's falsely conflating the peaceful unarmed protests with the looting and arson perpetrated by unrelated opportunists. And what the political motive for that false conflating might be.

              • Gabby

                Neither of those things is noted. Where'd you summon that up from?

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Bizarre 1st para @10.1.1.1.1.1 – RL trying to 'fit' reality to his world view.

                  • Gabby

                    So sly you could pin a tail on it and call it a Dennis.

                    [Two birds with one stone, this time! Well done! You still haven’t learned that your ‘witty’ one-liners are nothing but flaming insults and putdowns of other commenters. I guess we’ll just have to up the dose. Banned for one week. At this rate, you’ll be gone for a long time soon, unless you change your behaviour – Incognito]

      • Obtrectator 10.1.2

        It'll be a hard job, if it can be done at all in these increasingly stressful times. UK writer and TV producer G F Newman has more than once aired the notion that criminals and police often come from similar backgrounds, have similar mentalities, and that it can simply be chance – ill or otherwise – that decides which side of the fence they end up on. He also reckons 90% of police are corrupt in greater or lesser degree. Very likely the situation is little different in the US.

  10. Herodotus 11

    Clement Blair Peach (25 March 1946 – 24 April 1979) was a New Zealand teacher who died after an anti-racism demonstration in Southall, Middlesex, England

    As far as I can find within our lifetime,We in NZ have been so fortunate that protesting has not led to the highest price to be paid,

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Blair_Peach#:~:text=Clement%20Blair%20Peach%20(25%20March,in%20Southall%2C%20Middlesex%2C%20England.

  11. Poission 12

    The unresonable ineffectiveness of mathematics in social science.

    Hundreds of researchers attempted to predict six life outcomes, such as a child’s grade point average and whether a family would be evicted from their home. These researchers used machine-learning methods optimized for prediction, and they drew on a vast dataset that was painstakingly collected by social scientists over 15 y. However, no one made very accurate predictions. For policymakers considering using predictive models in settings such as criminal justice and child-protective services, these results raise a number of concerns. Additionally, researchers must reconcile the idea that they understand life trajectories with the fact that none of the predictions were very accurate.

    https://www.pnas.org/content/117/15/8398

    The problem with diophantine sets.

  12. Treetop 13

    Is the mink coat a source of Covid-19?

    Just heard on AJ TV that a mink farm in the Netherlands has transmission from mink animals to humans. China imports a lot of mink fur from the Netherlands.

  13. Treetop 14

    The trust has gone in the USA between the police and the Afro American community. Until trust is restored the marches will continue. It is obvious why there is no trust as police officers are breaking the law.

    I feel that the numbers participating in the marches would be higher were there no Covid-19. It is good to see a representation of cultures. I was very impressed with what Rev Sharpton said at Floyd's funeral.

  14. Incognito 16

    @ Observer Tokoroa:

    I did see the slight name change and thought it was a typo.

    I don’t know what happened but your last couple of comments came through unchanged so I suspect it happened at your (the client) end.

    Let’s wait and see what happens when your ban ends, thanks.

  15. Incognito 17

    1601

    • Macro 18.1

      But he only went two and a half times. I'm still trying to work out how you can half go someplace . Did he put a foot inside the bunker and a foot outside and therefore he was half in and half out?

  16. Adrian Thornton 19

    I see this tune is getting a lot of downloads in the states over the past week or so….still some of the smoothest rappers around IMO.well apart from Chuck D maybe?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7-TTWgiYL4

    • Chris T 19.1

      Given Dr Dre and Ice T now have a combined worth of a billion dollars and live in mansions no where near anywhere with dodgy cops, the song has kind of lost it's impact for me personally.

      • Adrian Thornton 19.1.1

        So are you saying that anything one does artistically should be judged on the actions taken though out the rest of their lives?…I personally think that is a very naive and unrealistic position to take,

        • Chris T 19.1.1.1

          No it is still a good song.

          I just think they would look a bit silly if they tried to do it live again.

      • I Feel Love 19.1.2

        Huh? Dre & Cube are still black.

        • Chris T 19.1.2.1

          And very privileged

          • adam 19.1.2.1.1

            For Afro Americans sure they got wealth. But they still get pulled over and deal with the same shit by police, like all the other Afro Americans. I'd suggest you talk to some wealthy or middle class Afro Americans Chris T, because you just talking shit at the moment. Because in American one thing money don't buy you if your Afro American, is a pass on the shit you get from the police.

  17. Gabby 20

    Unlike you not to be impressed by wealth. They're Wealth Creators Driving the Market Economy ennathaday.

  18. Do newspapers just get to make shit up ?

    Apparently the Skripals are in NZ.

    "The report cites a senior UK government source who said the Skripals had been given new identities and support to start a new life."

    So these people who were facing such a diabolical existential threat from the Russians, they couldn't be interviewed to describe what happened to them or where they were in those missing morning hours in March 2018 are now outed as being in NZ

    If we are to believe this , and frankly I find it difficult, who's providing the extreme security they'd need

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/300029359/exrussian-spy-sergei-skripal-and-daughter-yulia-start-over-in-nz-after-poisonings–report

    NZ is seen as some mythical place at the bottom of the world where anyone can disappear

    In actual fact we're all pretty connected and blab like anything so its the last place to come and disappear.

    • greywarshark 22.1

      francescayes

    • Robert Guyton 22.2

      Not planning to disappear, in my view; perhaps "hidden in plain sight" smiley

      • francesca 22.2.1

        They’ll have to have full on elocution lessons!
        And what about Sergei’s special buckwheat.
        Gonna grow it for him Robert?

    • RedBaronCV 22.3

      If this is correct and it may well be then the british government is being it's usual arrogant self. IIRC there was a proposal made quite some time back – where the British were going to resettle here under a new name, an individual who had been convicted as a minor of a crime but the outcry stopped it. So nothing new I'm afraid.

  19. Chris T 23

    Is it just me or has Ardern's promised 20% ministerial pay cut seemed to have disappeared under the radar?

    Unless I have missed a story.

  20. sumsuch 24

    The latest focus of the moment, the race riots in America. We getting het up about it.

    And the unwillingness of the middle class politically interested to address our vicious war on Maori since 1984 (yes, I know the benefit cuts came in 1991). You all leave it on the floor, unprepared to pick it up.

    Disgusting.

  21. Maurice 25

    Arms Race?

    800,000 mostly urban Police

    80 MILLION gun nut rednecks mostly in the rural food producing regions

    That race was lost long ago in the US

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