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Open Mike 07/03/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 7th, 2017 - 52 comments
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52 comments on “Open Mike 07/03/2017”

  1. weka 1

    Ah, the non-war mongering president,

    Update: Trump has approved at least 36 drone strikes or raids in 45 days—one every 1.25 days.

    In Obama’s 8 yrs, only one 45-day period (in 2012, when CIA bombed Pak Taliban constantly) saw such numerous drone strikes.

    Troubling: We’ve no idea of Trump’s legal interpretation, what targeting standards apply, what strategic objectives these strikes support.

    For an alleged “non-interventionist” president, Trump is quite willing to OK a huge quantity of strikes so early in his presidency.

    Finally: Trump admin’s absence of transparency + accountability, and vast increase in lethal strikes, is a terrible combo for democracy.

    • weka 1.1

      Thread,

      …she persisted.
      🗽‏ @leahmcelrath

      We are at a critical point in our #resistance.

      Trump is feeling the heat and melting down.

      In many ways, that makes our situation more dangerous than ever before.

      Trump knows he’s cornered. Cornered animals have nothing to lose.

    • mauī 1.2

      Lets bring back that peace loving leftist pres Obama then, only 26,000+ bombs last year and I’m sure they were all surgical strikes…

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/09/america-dropped-26171-bombs-2016-obama-legacy

      • marty mars 1.2.1

        I’m sure trump will trump Obama if he ever lasts as long. He’s setting up some big ones by shitting on the military – they’ll want to rub his stinking face in his statementa of their ability and will. Thus he will warmonger and all nations will get pulled in – the Pacific, Europe, the east, the med – where he looks is where strife will increase.

    • Bill 1.3

      A bit of a stretch to characterise Trump as “non-war mongering”. If my recollection is right, the only issue that was pointed to in relation to his “non-war mongering” was Russia.

      The guy said he was going to bomb ISIS members and families. Right off the top of my head, he’s been openly far too supportive of Israel, threatening towards Iran and saber rattling with China.

      We’ve no idea of Trump’s legal interpretation, what targeting standards apply, what strategic objectives these strikes support.

      Obama also had the prerogative to launch drones with no oversight. And he did. Trump is merely using a system of non-accountability set up under Obama and used by Obama.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1

        The guy said he was going to bomb ISIS members and families. Right off the top of my head, he’s been openly far too supportive of Israel, threatening towards Iran and saber rattling with China.

        Yep. Everything I saw indicated that he was itching for a war.

      • weka 1.3.2

        “If my recollection is right, the only issue that was pointed to in relation to his “non-war mongering” was Russia.”

        Not quite. It was that he was isolationist, so no foreign wars (war on terrorism excluded). The Russian thing was in relationship to Clinton wasn’t it?

        • Sabine 1.3.2.1

          nah, mate you are getting this mixed up somehow.

          Trump is a nationalist, who is saving the world from WW3 by only bombing targets that are Russian approved as that will prevent WW3 with Russia.

          Clinton was literally just the scary vagina, who can’t use emails correctly, is a war monger and will ring in a nuclear holocaust on Jan 22nd for breakfast.

      • Andre 1.3.3

        “Trump is merely using a system of non-accountability set up under Obama and used by Obama.”

        It seems that Trump can’t stand even the tiny little bit of heat from Obama’s system of non-accountability and may be trying to pass the decisions and accountability down the chain.

        http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/03/01/generals-may-launch-new-isis-raids-without-trump-s-ok.html

  2. weka 2

    For those that read this bit on the supposed alt-left in yesterday’s OM,

    Open Mike 06/03/2017

    a follow up piece,

    View at Medium.com

    • Given the way Devyn Springer peddles obfuscatory socialist “bulshytt” (per Neal Stephenson), it’s pretty rich for him to claim “…the liberal creation of the “alt-left” is part of the historical assault on the left by those willfully apt to compromise with fascism.” The German socialists’ support of fascism on the basis of “After Hitler, us” should be a little harder to forget than that. Those of us who would have been more like the “social fascists” of the SDP that the socialists refused to compromise with to defeat fascism certainly don’t forget it.

    • Carolyn_nth 2.2

      Thanks weka. This from the Springer link:

      It is not an end to identity politics we seek, rather a politic that encompasses the realities of different identities infused with class analysis and observation of power dynamics.

      The version of identity politics that Springer, and some others on the left, are criticising, is one that I have long called “liberal feminism”. I know there are issues with the use of “liberal” as a negative. For me a liberal feminist has always been one who accepts the status quo of capitalism and its patriarchal, imperialist culture – only want equality for women within that system e.g. Judith Collins.

      But maybe “conservative feminism” would be a better term.

      I see Springer refers to Angela Davis as a positive example of an anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist feminist:

      As longtime political activist, writer, and academic Angela Davis (who Wolcott surely would categorize as “alt-left” by his standards) explains in her latest book Freedom Is A Constant Struggle, we “find our strength in collectivities,” and through the “intersectionality of struggles, not only identities.” It is in this same breath that the left wishes to not disrupt or dismiss identity politics, rather move beyond identity politics into a deeper analysis of institutions of power which can easily be infused by the layers of identity-based oppression.

      I like this because Davis was also my choice for an example of a more anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist feminist, in my last post on EveningReport.

      It is about power. And Springer, via Davis explains that the regimes of power can only be dismantled by collective actions from ordinary people – from the bottom up.

    • Bill 2.3

      I spluttered and laughed at yesterday’s link. There is no more an ‘alt-left’ than there is an ‘alt-right’. (I guess some will disagree with my take on ‘alt-right’, but hey)

      There is a radical center or a liberal center or (call it what you want) status quo that’s kind of lost its sheen – people vote against it when the opportunities arise.

      There are some people who hold authoritarian political views that are a part of what we’d normally call the ‘right’ who have been labeled the ‘alt-right’ as though their views are somehow utterly disconnected with the more general body of ‘the right’. They aren’t. They are a continuation or extrapolation.

      There are also people on the left who hold authoritarian political views and they (just as the suppossed ‘alt-right’ represent an certain extrapolation of left thought and politics…

      The center is lashing in all directions and seeking to cast anything that challenges the status quo as thoroughly despicable…it’s a kind of political infanticide.

      On the other hand, there is the non-authoritarian reaction to all this nonsense. And that non-authoritarian streak doesn’t can’t speak against so-called identity politics because they (‘identity politics’) are a fundamental expression of power – asymmetries of power.

      We can fall down a collapsing rabbit hole and be buried by meaningless debates on such things and ‘left and alt-left’ and ‘right and alt-right’, or we can draw a meaningful and revealing distinction between authoritarianism (of the left and right) and non-authoritarianism (of the left and right)

      • saveNZ 2.3.1

        +1 Bill

      • marty mars 2.3.2

        Thank you for your contibution to this meaningless debate.

        Alt right is a thing imo it is known by its seeds.

        People that believe in identity politics can be criticized, as identity politics itself can be, must be, and is, by people that believe in it.

        The middle is just the hole on a farmers farm – all the shit gets chucked down it. It is used to attract pests.

        • Bill 2.3.2.1

          I didn’t mean to suggest individual approaches to ‘identity politics’ are beyond criticism. For example, like Corolyn -nth, I’ve long been critical of the accommodation sought by liberal feminism . But there can be no objection to basic analyses of power per se from non-authoritarians.

          If alt-right is known by its seeds, then are you not saying the same as me? That the so-called ‘alt-right’ is just an extension or expression of the right?

          If we allow it (and some imagined ‘alt-left’) to be separated out, then ‘the centre’ gets to construct a ‘basket of deplorables’ into which it can toss all and sundry who speak against it by the simple act of labeling any criticism ‘alt’ (ie ‘unacceptable) right or left…as opposed to their contained and constrained ideas of, I guess, ‘liberal’ left and’ liberal’ right

          In other words, by granting those terms legitimacy, we’d acquiesce to giving the ‘Project Fear of ‘the centre’ a certain degree of form, definition and efficacy.

          As already said, rather than slicing and dicing everything to the ‘nth degree’ drawing a quite simple and obvious line between authoritarian and non-authoritarian is far more useful.

          • marty mars 2.3.2.1.1

            I meant deeds lol but seeds is right ☺

            I agree it is a subset of rught and structured to appeal to those who don’t identify as right so it is its own thing as well. Because it is disguised it needs to be called out.

            I think an authoritarian axis of analysis is also helpful.

    • Andre 2.4

      There’s something particularly delightful about seeing someone using phrases such as “…which reads like a tabloid-writer grabbed a thesaurus and attempted to assault the left…” or “Logical fallacies and facetious arguments are made quickly within Wolcott’s “article” when he ungracefully pulls quotes…” to argue against someone else’s opinion, when those sentiments are equally (if not more) validly applicable to his own piece.

  3. Sam C 3

    Espiner grilling Joyce re Super this morning and claimed that 0.6% of $1000.00 is 6 cents. And then had the temerity to call such a balls up a “rounding error”. Epic fail.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      The media are the opposition in your mind, eh.

    • dv 3.2

      Understanding of maths WRONG twice!!

      Not even close to a rounding error as 6 cents in 1000 is 0.006%
      0.6% of 1000 is $6!!!!!!

      Not only can’t work percentages, doesn’t under stand rounding.

      Thank heavens he is not the finance minister!!

      Oh but wait………Bugger

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1

        Um, it was Guyon Espiner who made the “rounding error”. Sam is doing his best to divert attention from Mr. Fuxit’s performance.

        • dv 3.2.1.1

          OH, so did Fuxirt fix it?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1.1.1

            He seized the opportunity to waste airtime on a diversion. Have a listen to the interview, eh?

        • Sam C 3.2.1.2

          Not trying to divert at all. But you could tell from the glee in Guyon’s voice that he thought he had scored a big hit on Joyce. Um, not so much.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1.2.1

            That time Mr. Fuxit did better sums than a journalist. It’s nice that you have something to feel good about 😆

  4. saveNZ 4

    Very good post about Auckland’s pollution of the Waitemata harbour and how the government and council are minimising and covering it up.

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/03/02/guest-blog-mike-lee-aucklands-dirty-secret-can-we-handle-the-truth/

    • bwaghorn 4.1

      you’ll never get an angry response to a dirty water post unless you insert the words
      ”DIRTY DAIRY FARMERS” better luck next time

  5. saveNZ 5

    And on a similar vein about increasing pollution cover ups…

    Forest & Bird quits water forum, saying govt ignores advice

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/326009/forest-and-bird-quits-water-forum,-saying-govt-ignores-advice

  6. ianmac 6

    Surprised?
    “Jacinda Ardern, my nominee to be our next Deputy Leader, has just been confirmed to the role, with the unanimous support of Caucus.”

  7. garibaldi 7

    It’s not just Trump who is wrong about Islam. All the monotheists are wrong when you take a step back and see how their actions are basically the opposite of what they preach.
    Jews ,Christians and Muslims… they are all tarred with the same brush. Blind faith in something supernatural at best, or patriarchal power hungry bastard at worst.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  8. greywarshark 8

    Some tips from my 1880 book of etiquette:

    Avoid politics and religion, and all topics likely to excite argument, or to lead to warmth of feeling or expression…

    Avoid whatever is personal in tone or allusion; neither flatter nor make observations of an offensive character; do not even indulge in badinage unless with friends, who will not be likely to put a false construction on your words, or to take in earnest what you man in sport…

    (In discussion); Never charge him with having made a wilful misstatement; suggest a correction, rather than make it, and if the point in question is immaterial, it is best to let it pass unnoticed. (I think this is one good piece of advice to adopt.)
    If addressed in an offensive tone,… even when you perceive an intention to annoy or insult, either pass it over..or..withdraw…Such a thing as a ‘scene’ is, above all things, to be avoided.

    Seems to me that this type of approach has passed to us through our majorly British connections and why we have been dubbed (by a Brit who thinks he is better,) as ‘the passionless people’.

    May we have lots of discussions, with offensive tone sometimes, and limit ourselves a little so we have only one or two “scenes” a day – too many and they cease to be interesting events that stand out form the normal intercourse.

    And let’s have interesting comments that might break this constricting rule of Britishness, xenophobia and lack of learning.
    Do not interlard your conversation with French and other languages. (Moi!) If you are tempted into a Greek or Latin quotation, apologise to the ladies for its use, or translate it…Puns and slang terms are to be avoided as much as possible.
    Well, how do you like that ladies, get back to your embroidery and female duties, and don’t give out that you have any education or ideas of your own. Not the thing, you know. Feeling smothered, mother? Don’t frown girly. Look pretty, talk pretty, be agreeable, and conform or else you won’t find a husband and being married is really the only thing for a woman of good family and repute. For rabid feminists who don’t understand sarcasm, I’m channelling that male society.

    Let’s keep on having informed, honest, interesting discussion all pointed towards building knowledge, understanding and the ability to form thoughtful scenarios to be used as a base for shaping policy to keep our world in balance at a high level of wellbeing which is above just accumulation or exchange of money or virtual tokens.

  9. Sabine 9

    its only identity politics if …..

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/us/politics/planned-parenthood.html?_r=0

    hey, stop all those pesky abortion, and we are not gonna cut your funding.

    (lucky, the signer of this document has a penis and can thus walk away from any female he fucked and got pregnant, so clearly this is a win win – cause he wont ever need an abortion, or a pap smear, or birth control or any such thing, cause rich too.)

    2017, still protesting this shit.

    • weka 9.1

      But think of all the women in Syria not being bombed.

      • Bill 9.1.1

        Not the first time you’ve thrown that riposte in relation to the debacle around abortion in the US .

        But do you really mean to suggest that the welfare of Syrian women is somehow lesser than that of US women – that no challenge to ‘Roe versus Wade’ would have outweighed the sum total suffering that would have been inflicted upon Syrian women with a ‘no-fly’ zone (Clinton’s Syrian preference)?

        And what of the many Syrian women who right now can no longer access abortions because they are unfortunate enough to live in areas ruled over by western backed and armed militias/terrorists? Is that of any lesser significance than women in some US states being denied abortion services?

        What about women in Libya having no access to abortion services (or much of anything else) since the western engineered overthrow of Gaddafi? Or the women in Afghanistan who enjoyed a great leap backwards in their rights as a direct consequence of western meddling there, after having already taking a backwards tumble with the ascendancy of the Taliban?

        Iraqi women? It doesn’t matter that they’re negotiating a decimated health service/system due to years of western sanctions, two invasions and a clusterfuck of an occupation? (Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s not “really” an occupation)

        The direction of travel in the US with abortion is lamentable. But I’m a bit lost when it gets played off against suffering elsewhere in a way that would suggest that that suffering (potential and/or actual) is somehow inconsequential or secondary.

        Thank fuck there’s less bombing of women going on in Syria than there would have been with a ‘no-fly’ zone. Does that make the shit around abortion in the US okay? No – just as no challenge to Roe versus Wade would not in any way have excused the imposition of a ‘no-fly’ zone in Syria.

        • weka 9.1.1.1

          “But do you really mean to suggest that the welfare of Syrian women is somehow lesser than that of US women ”

          No, I don’t. I’m not the one that pitted those two politics against each other.

          I think it’s highly problematic to make arguments politically where one is trying to trade off one sets of women’s rights against another. As soon as you start weighing up abortion against Syria, you’re in fucked up territory. It’s even more problematic for left wing men to do this without risking minimising some pretty fundamental human rights of women. And I’d say it’s almost impossible to do that since the US election.

          My previous comment was wholly sarcastic.

        • Sabine 9.1.1.2

          mate if we have to stop working for the welfare of women until other women in other countries have rights we would still be burning women on the stakes on grounds of witchcraft.

          But i guess welfare for women has absolutely no meaning if one has a penis.
          It makes it so much easier chastising women who might not be bombed as greedy and selfish and why won’t you just shut up until the women in syria ain’t being bombed anymore or the women in Saudi Arabia get to drive a car, or the girls in Afghanistan are not being married of at 13, or the Duggar women in the US stop breeding like cattle.

          yeah, It must be really good to be a man.

  10. FlashinthePan 10

    I have a question…

    If the Cullen Fund contributions had not been suspended by National would it cover shortfalls in funding Super going forward?

    If not, couldn’t we just increase contributions?

    Or, is the problem much bigger than that?

  11. greywarshark 11

    Another 4 minute wait to get onto site, and then from Home to Open Mike a further 4 minutes. Even the statcounter readout has to wake itself up, shake, and start counting again! Are machines allowed to discriminate, is this fair, wot abart equality then. I am in the slow queue while other b…s go flying by because I haven’t got a new toy with all the bells and whistles. Sniffs…

    Sabine
    The bloke might have to be careful himself as I think that syphillus is on the rise, a nasty VD.

    The thing for an ultimate authoritarian government of the future would be to ban sexual intercourse. and rapes would go down, births would go down, and we would be a less stressed planet and people. Maybe. Ordinary living might be better but wars would go up where men are away from their civilised lives to a theatre of war where you ad lib the moves so you can manage to live. Then there is an excuse for letting the soul go and doing whatever you can get away with. So women need to tame the world thoughtfully rather than with emotion or admonishment, fat chance but a noble cause.

    • Andre 11.1

      Did you try BMs answer from a couple days ago that blocks secure.statcounter.com? It worked for me, joe90 and maybe weka. It’s also sped up a few other sites like HuffPo and Salon that would be very slow cause of loading lots of shite. Yes, I did a brief check on it before installing and it seems legit.

      Open Mike 05/03/2017

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        okay Andre thanks. I copied the link but don’t dash in to muck my machine around, as if I would know how to do that purposefully. I wonder why we suddenly need this new antiblocker.

  12. repateet 13

    Nikki Kaye is getting publicity rubbishing Jacinda Arden for a Super flip-flop.

    Gold medal gymnastics material that, to be part of a whole big team doing a big group flip-flop and being so aware as to discern in the spinning landscape that someone else could be doing the same.

    How come the spinning one’s perception gets the attention?

  13. Morrissey 14

    Ben Carson Refers to Slaves as ‘Immigrants’ in First Remarks to HUD Staff
    by LIAM STACK, New York Times, March 6, 2017

    Ben Carson’s first full week as secretary of Housing and Urban Development got off to a rough start on Monday after he described African slaves as “immigrants” during his first speech to hundreds of assembled department employees. The remark, which came as part of a 40-minute address on the theme of America as “a land of dreams and opportunity,” was met with swift outrage online.

    Mr. Carson turned his attention to slavery after describing photographs of poor immigrants displayed at the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. These new arrivals worked long hours, six or seven days a week, with little pay, he said. And before them, there were slaves.

    “That’s what America is about, a land of dreams and opportunity,’’ he said. “There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less. But they too had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandsons, great-granddaughters, might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.”

    The comparison was first reported by USA Today and quickly drew the ire of social media users who attacked the secretary, who is African-American, for what they saw as racially insensitive comments. …..

    Read more…
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/us/politics/ben-carson-refers-to-slaves-as-immigrants-in-first-remarks-to-hud-staff.html?rref=collection%2Fnewseventcollection%2FThe%20Trump%20White%20House&action=click&contentCollection=Business%20Day&module=Collection&region=Marginalia&src=me&version=newsevent&pgtype=article

    • marty mars 14.1

      “But they too had a dream that one day…”

      too sickening to have a decent comment on it – I hope carson suffers for those statements.

      • Morrissey 14.1.1

        In the Trump administration, stupidity and ignorance are rewarded handsomely.

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  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    3 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    5 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    7 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 weeks ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 weeks ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government working to keep air freight moving
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