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Open mike 08/12/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 8th, 2021 - 232 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:


Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

232 comments on “Open mike 08/12/2021 ”

  1. SPC 1

    Biden adopts Trump policy – walks away from a forever war, leaving Afghan people starving and women without rights, to focus on China.

    And acts by not sending diplomats to the winter Olympics (they did not go to the summer ones because of the pandemic).

    China (adopting the posture of a male no weaker woman should ever cross, or else) says they will pay.

    Remember the days of table tennis diplomacy?

    • garibaldi 1.1

      Back in the 1900s the USA convinced itself that they are the exceptional Country of this world, which 'gave' them the right to walk all over everyone else. They own NATO and they dominate the UN and have nigh on 1,000 military sites around the world and spend more on attack( which they call defense ) than nearly all of the rest of the world combined (whilst happily supplying weapons to all and sundry, making colossal profits).

      Their all encompassing self belief has led to the American people not realizing just how arrogant and dangerous (and now pathetic as well) that they really are. Look at their track record and their drive for total hegemony ….. a recipe for disaster.

      • Gezza 1.1.1

        It IS a worry how all US presidents (except Trump) regard themselves as “leaders of the free world” & then try to economically squeeze the life out of the ordinary people living in countries whose ruling govts they don’t like thru economic sanctions, in the apparent hope of forcing them to revolt against & topple those leaders.

        Hasn’t happened in Venezuela, Cuba, Iran or any other country where the US has put the squeeze on, but the unfair punishment of the people continues, even in a pandemic where medical supplies are hard for those countries to get.

        Even beyond the gobsmacking propensity of the US to militarily attack other countries, Americans seem to have a huge blind spot about the inhumanity & immorality of their own governments.

        Why the US is allowed to continue to have a stranglehold on the world’s economic system escapes me.

        • Blazer 1.1.1.1

          That stranglehold is maintained by the petro dollar deal with the Saudis and the U.S/Anglo dominance of the Bank of International Settlements,IMF,Swift system and financial markets.

          Russia has dumped U.S dollar reserves completely and China is diversifying its holdings.

          Gaddaffi wanted a Pan African financial system,independent of U.S influence.

          Thats a major reason Gaddaffi is…dead.

          The 'collateral damage ' inflicted by the U.S military/industrial complex is ongoing,everyday…around the world.

          • Gezza 1.1.1.1.1

            Yes. It’s been going on for so long the world doesn’t even notice any more. The UN should’ve done something about it, but the UN’s dominated by the US too (and the other permanent members of the Security Council), so they literally “get away with murder”.

          • ianmac 1.1.1.1.2

            Are the exploits of the American Forces reported to the ears and eyes of the bulk of American citizens?

            • Gezza 1.1.1.1.2.1

              No. They need to watch programmes like Al Jazeera tv to know that.
              And what US coverage is given to their military exploits is inclined to be jingoistic & ignore the views of the people in the country concerned.

        • SPC 1.1.1.2

          Except Trump? Trump was bullying NATO members, and NAFTA partners and destroying the judicial functioning of the WTO to bend it to his will. And maintaining the sanctions regimes in place and launching the "trade war/trade negotiation" with China.

          • Gezza 1.1.1.2.1

            Trump never bothered to sell the US as the "leader of the free world".

            As far as Trump was concerned the US is the greatest country in the world and everybody else can GF themselves.

            • SPC 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Whatever Trump styled "America" he bullied other nations no less than the others.

              • Gezza

                Yes but Trump, the blatantly narcissistic lying bullying jingoistic president didn't pretend otherwise.

    • Nic the NZer 1.2

      If Afghanistan is going to develop into a functional country it needs to work that out for itself. It clearly wasn't heading that way under US occupation.

      I really don't understand why the policy of leaving (over considerable internal US resistance and disobedience) is considered a failure of Biden or Trump. In my opinion its one of the best places they agreed and delivered.

      • Gezza 1.2.1

        Agreed. Full credit to Biden for standing up & taking the criticism for pulling out of Afghanistan on the chin & insisting it was the right thing to do.

        The Taliban were always going to take their country back. A pity, but not an excuse for other countries to interfere militarily. Hopefully there’ll come a time when their own people will decide theu’ve had enuf of medieval Islamic rule & they’ll be kicked out or evolve into a more humane kind of govt.

        • Blazer 1.2.1.1

          Were you as surprised as me to see Afghanistan competing in international cricket tournaments….and not doing too bad!

      • Peter 1.2.2

        If Afghanistan is going to develop into a functional country it just might need one of those things some religions believe in – a miracle.

        I don't know if the religions there have those sorts of things on their shelves. Likely not since it seems the root cause of them not being a well functioning country is those very religions.

      • RedLogix 1.2.3

        Exactly. The manner is which the US is going to define it's interests is changing, and in many places in the world the Yanks are going home. Afghanistan is but one data point. Their total deployment in the ME is virtually zero. Eastern Europe is pretty much on it's own.

        The current shit show in Ethiopia is another – no interest from the US at all.

        The US haters will soon flip to blaming them for not getting involved.

        • Gezza 1.2.3.1

          Well, that’s not me. I don’t hate the US. And it will be good if they stop interfering in other countries. They’re still pursuing over the horizon drone assassinations that can go wrong & kill innocents.

          But I’ll think more of their governments when they stop punishing innocent people thru economic sanctions that don’t have full UN approval.

          • RedLogix 1.2.3.1.1

            And it will be good if they stop interfering in other countries.

            Fine – but you don't get to complain when shit happens in the world and the US shrugs it's shoulder and looks the other way.

            All human societies are stable and safe if and only if we allow for the legitimate use of force to impose the law. Since the end of WW2 the US more or less performed this role globally – almost by accident. They were in many ways the least qualified people to do it, being almost pathologically ignorant of geography and history. They did a terrible job in patches – but nonetheless in relative terms we've lived in one of the most peaceful periods of human history ever.

            A period that has seen most of humanity lifted out of absolute poverty and development charge ahead almost everywhere there has been sufficient minimal political competence. Well the Yanks have lost interest in the job, and maybe not before time. But what almost no-one imagines is – who or what will pick up this essential role in the wake of their 'Great Resignation'?

            An exact parallel would be cheering on 'defunding the police' when at the same time you have a gang pad next door. You can see it when it's under your nose, but few people seem to be able to make the leap to thinking at a global scale.

            • garibaldi 1.2.3.1.1.1

              'who or what will pick up this essential role'. The example of how the USA has gone surely proves it has to be a 'what' rather than a 'who'.

              We basically need a United Nations that is strong, independent and incorruptible. Is that possible, knowing human nature?

              • RedLogix

                Is that possible, knowing human nature?

                That my friend is I think the central question of the times we live in. The answer is yes because I have seen proto-versions of it in action. It's possible, but getting there is likely to be a bumpy road.

                I'll go one step further – my entire participation here for more than a decade has been one way or another organised around this very question.

                • garibaldi

                  I'll go one step further too. I very much doubt that the monotheists of this planet can stop their "Our god is bigger and better than yours". This is a major stumbling block for mankind.

            • Gezza 1.2.3.1.1.2

              Why did you ignore the rest of my comment?

              And how many innocent people throughout the world have been killed because of the US's police actions? Have you ever totaled that up?

              Napalming villages & hamlets in Vietnam & bombing Hanoi were war crimes, RL. My Lai was reportedly only the tip of the iceberg. American troops lost the plot & slaughtered villagers in other parts of Vietnam too, some now admit.

              God knows how many hundreds of thousands of troops defending their countries and ordinary citizens have died at the hands of the American military. That can't be just swept under the carpet here, as it is in the US.

              • RedLogix

                And how many innocent people throughout the world have been killed because of the US's police actions? Have you ever totaled that up?

                Yes. Far too many. And they've been rightly, openly and repeatedly criticised for it for decades. Many people making virtual careers out of it and have a massive audience lapping it up. The message you get is that the USA is the sole source of all evil in the world.

                Try doing the same in China regarding any action of the CCP and see what happens – yet almost everyone here is silent on this because why?

                • Blazer

                  Lots of propaganda.

                  I can say there is alot of demonisation of China and Russia in the western media ,and not much critique about Uncle Sam.

                  There are numerous 'Capt Americas' around who give the U.S credit for all sorts of things…that they do not deserve.

                  John Key was one who….'loved everything about the…place'!

                  • RedLogix

                    And never a bad word for the CCP eh?

                    • Blazer

                      Look at Peng Shui…woman scorned -storm in a teacup.

                    • RedLogix

                      The problem was not her accusation – the rights and wrongs of that are a tangent to the main point here – it was the fact of the accusation being censored off the CCP controlled internet in less than an hour. And her subsequent prolonged disappearance – as with millions of other lesser known names – until finally the CCP was shamed into responding.

                      Still never a bad word for the CCP from you though.

                • Gezza

                  Russia gets plenty of criticism for its interference in other countries and in particular its savagery in support of Assad. Mind you, some of Assad's opponents are themselves pretty awful Islamic Fundamentalist Militants whose ideal Syrian Govt would look much like IS's Islamic State and/or Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. So they can always claim they are fighting terrorists, and they do.

                  It's curious we don't see more coverage of Russian military forces in action. Nobody seems to want to sneak footage out or go in surreptitiously and obtain it.

                  Neither China nor Russia has since WW2 invaded and/or attacked and destabilised anywhere near as many countries in the world as the US has done, and where they have used their military or mercenary proxies they've mostly involved themselves in disputed territories in their own regions. Not halfway around the world, like the US.

                  “And never a bad word for the CCP eh?”

                  Of late there’s been nothing but bad words for the CCP in the Western press and political and diplomatic arenas.

                  • RedLogix

                    Neither China nor Russia has since WW2 invaded and/or attacked and destabilised anywhere near as many countries in the world as the US has done,

                    Only because they could not; the US and it’s massive network of allies had them contained. (Note that the first thing the CCP has done with it’s recent wealth is to engage in a massive build up of it’s military for no obvious purpose other than to intimidate and invade it’s neighbours.)

                    Does anyone really imagine a post WW2 era dominated by Stalin or Mao as somehow a more desirable alternative? Because that's the question you're really asking here.

                    • Gezza

                      Does anyone really imagine a post WW2 era dominated by Stalin or Mao as somehow a more desirable alternative? Because that's the question you're really asking here.

                      Aww come on, RL. I like you, matey. And you're a former Tawa-ite.

                      Take a few slow, deep breaths. You're hyperventilating online. I dunno what others have been saying in my absence but don't confuse my posts with theirs.

                      The US didn't need to invade Afghanistan or Iraq, muck about backing very dodgy militant fundamentalist factions in Syria and Libya, or get involved effectively supporting Israeli land-stealing in Palestine & their military suppression of the Palestinians, or put the economic & humanitarian supplies squeeze on Iran, to stop Stalin and Mao taking over in those countries or ours.

                    • RedLogix

                      US foreign policy post WW2 can be neatly divided into two eras. During the Cold War – which was really very intense and far more dangerous than most people recall – their primary aim was to lead a global coalition against communism. And given the appalling track record of every single communist regime I personally applaud them for this. It was in my view a justified war against totalitarianism.

                      Post the Cold War, and in particular after GH Bush's Presidency the Americans lost their way. One President after another from Clinton onward offered no coherent or visionary ambition for the world about what might come next. To the point now where metaphorically there is no-one in Washington who can read a map, much less offer a morally consistent plan for how 195 nations and 7.8b humans might have a future.

                      Like the road-runner, the global trade order the Americans created has staggered onward into uncharted, unsupported space. We are now living in it's last decade or less. This engine which has underpinned so much human progress and development is about to be consumed by the entropy of it's own contradictions and failure to evolve.

                      This is what concerns me, because it has desperate implications not so much for the North Americans, but for almost everyone else in the world, including most of it’s poor. That so many participants here want to obscure this with an unthinking reflexive anti-US rhetoric just frustrates me. Apologies if you copped some of it.

            • weston 1.2.3.1.1.3

              You just love sucking uncle sams sausage dont you rl !!What a load of crap the us has been responsible for murder and mayhem across the world more like .Since ww2 the us has destabilized or overthrown more countrys and goverments than we,ve had hot dinners with millions displaced and the resultant chaos spreading into neighboring countries .The most peacefull period ??who are you trying to kid iraq is still simmering and they only just left afganistan there are nasty proxy wars going on all over the place theyre still droning people with impunity and the cia is still arguably the most evil organization the world has ever known !!

        • SPC 1.2.3.2

          They have a limited presence n Syria (Kurdish area) and Iraq – NATO air base Turkey, and a larger presence in SA.

          The American (and UN and African Union) failure in Ethiopia is diplomatic. They have provided room for others to move in – such as China, whose supply of drones may have determined the outcome (Tigray forces now returning home) – a new friend/loan scalp for them to better secure their regional port in Djibouti.

          Hopefully Tigray will be offered one of three deals to end this – the government abandons the centralisation policy, a special autonomy for Tigray, or full independence like Eritrea).

        • SPC 1.2.3.3

          At some point Germany has to resolve the Eastern European impasse by ending NATO – they can use their failure to meet the 2014 NATO requirement to increase defence spending to 2% GDP by 2024 to do so.

          (they are still only spending only 1% GDP on defence in 2021).

          Without Germany, there is no NATO – German dependence on Russian gas only grows with the commitment to end use of coal and lignite by 2030.

          The smart move is to buy nuclear power from France, form a EU defence force and negotiate an EU-Russian defence agreement that includes permanent joint force presence in Kaliningrad (which secures the Baltic states as members of the EU).

          The end of NATO eases most of the tensions over the future of Ukraine (which then reduces to one of management of plebiscites to determine borders and its economic relationships with both Russia and EU via a three-party FTA, and maybe a Russian payment to Ukraine for loss of territorial assets/resources).

          • Gezza 1.2.3.3.1

            That’s worth mulling over in my view. Pragmatic solutions to the basic problems The Kremlin has that:

            1. it’s slowly getting surrounded by countries who want to be part of a hostile military alliance ((NATO) &
            2. it’s got lotsa Russians living in a few nearby countries who want to still be part of Russia. Plebiscites used to be the accepted way of determining borders in those situations. UN-supervised would be best.
        • Blazer 1.2.3.4

          'the business of America …is business'

          'America has no friends or enemies…just interests'-(HK.)

          American foreign policy is dictated by the military /industrial complex as Eisenhower warned.

          The American empire is much like the British Empire before it…definitely not altruistic…I gave you a link showing the plunder of India during the 'Raj'.

          Israel is the U.S proxy in the M.E.

          Eastern Europe has U.S bases and large military prescence.

          Ethiopa has nothing to offer the U.S…just like Somalia.

          • garibaldi 1.2.3.4.1

            "The American empire is much like the British empire before it". They are really one and the same. The Americans took over the British Empire after WW1 because the American loans for the war bankrupted them. Hence their special (toadying) relationship.

            • RedLogix 1.2.3.4.1.1

              they are really one and the same.

              Really if you believe this then there is no point in even speaking to you on the topic. It puts you into the same category as say a flat earther wanting to talk orbital mechanics.

              Sincerely.

              • garibaldi

                Well, I don't mind disagreeing with an Australian. If you can't see the obvious transfer of power then so be it.

                • RedLogix

                  Oh I can see the power alright – but it's all that you can see.

                  Oh and my tax residency is still based in NZ, my passport is still NZ, and my permanent home – that I just paid a power bill for – is still in NZ.

      • SPC 1.2.4

        No one abandoning people to oppression and starvation has the right to talk about human rights – it is then simply an excuse to pose as a moral superior to a nation it has chosen to contend with.

        • RedLogix 1.2.4.1

          So the US is the bad guy for being involved and now the bad guy for not being involved.

          Does that sum it up?

          • SPC 1.2.4.1.1

            Strawman, their policy is incoherent.

            In the end its all about power and the exercise of power, and a determination of interest. The selective moralism (fishermans choice of the day) is about implying their exceptionalism and favour of God.

            • RedLogix 1.2.4.1.1.1

              Nah – the way I read it the US are to be scapegoated as the bad guys regardless of what they do. And of course their foreign policy is incoherent – five Presidents in a row elected with no coherent strategy.

              But all of this moral posturing is pointless and irrelevant. The question I am posing is much more pragmatic – if the Yanks do go home, what then? World Peace and brotherly love will break out everywhere?

              • Gezza

                The question I am posing is much more pragmatic – if the Yanks do go home, what then? World Peace and brotherly love will break out everywhere?

                For my 2 cents worth – No, it’s quite likely wars will break out in various places like they already are whether the Americans get involved, or start them, or not.

                But then – maybe, just maybe – the UN will start getting involved – as it was supposed to be originally – in helping to put together multinational military forces to play an effective peacekeeping role while the countries or factions involved are encouraged – & assisted – to work out their differences peacefully thru negotiation.

                What we have now is a UN that is utterly powerless to stop the great powers on the Security Council from interfering militarily & economically in other countries, making it tits on a bull when it comes to one of its most important intended roles.

                • RedLogix

                  Yes. Radical reform of the UN is absolutely one place to start. In this I hold the intransigence of all the great power nations very much to blame.

                  And tragically the US is likely to be the last hold-out against a UN with any power to regulate it's actions. I still recall marching down Lambton Quay against the Iraqi invasion. It was the repudiation of UN authority that irked me most of all – and a dark turn for the worse.

                  • Gezza

                    Right on, brother. 💪🏼
                    A truly great American President would have the gonads & the persuasive power to get the backing of the American people to put US economic & military power behind just such a reform of the UN.

                    We need another version of Eisenhower – male or female – who has a vision of a better world & how the US can play the role to bring that about, so that every country benefits from no more wars & free & fair trade.

                    • RedLogix

                      We need another version of Eisenhower – male or female

                      Sadly anti-UN sentiments have come to dominate a very large fraction of the US population, if not a majority. I think it will take something dramatic to turn this around.

                      I get the impression that there are very few internationalist minded people left in Washington these days.

                      One of the reasons that many people don't get is that the US really doesn't need the rest of the world all that much. It's their unique geography and relative security that's the basis of their exceptionalism, rather than any special moral virtue.

                      I've said a few times now, that if all the other continents were to sink below the waves tonight , it might make a page 3 mention in their media tomorrow so long as the Super Bowl wasn't on. Their self-sufficiency has always tilted them toward an isolationist, inward looking view of the world that's paradoxically in tension with their entanglement with it.

                  • Blazer

                    More power to you Red!

                    Nearly 1 million people protested in the U.K but those two war criminals Blair and Bush went ahead regardless.

                    Shares in Raytheon,Grumman Northrop,Boeing,Lockheed etc…skyrocketed.

                    How can we maintain those earnings ,now that Afghanistan is over?

    • Ad 1.3

      In the 1971 "ping pong diplomacy" event, China and the US were still involved in a massive hot proxy war in Vietnam involving the death and injury of millions of people.

      Biden is precisely applying diplomatic pressure with the weapon of national shaming.

      As we've seen from international tennis, it's extremely effective.

      • Blazer 1.3.1

        With U.S scandals like Weinstein and Epstein that 'shaming' screams of….hypocrisy.

        • francesca 1.3.1.1

          Particularly the Epstein travesty .Note that no powerful men are being held to account .It's Ghislaine Maxwell who must stand in and take the punishment for all those men

          Here's a piece by Chris Hedges on the Maxwell trial

          It's pretty over the top , but he makes a good point.

          https://scheerpost.com/2021/12/06/hedges-american-satyricon/

        • Ad 1.3.1.2

          Why?

          • Blazer 1.3.1.2.1

            'As we've seen from international tennis, it's extremely effective.'

            You think so…because western media try a beat up!

            To me,this looks like the woman scorned scenario…more comparable to ex President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

            These Weinstein and Epstein cases are on a different level,you can't even compare them to Peng Shui.

            • Ad 1.3.1.2.1.1

              I agree entirely that raising the Weinstein and Epstein cases are completely irrelevant. Certainly they have nothing to do with the US diplomatic boycott of the Chinese Winter Olympics.

              • Blazer

                Oh…new topic…

                U.S boycott of the Chinese Winter Olympics.

                The somewhat spurious rationale is….human rights!

                The hypocrisy gets even more apparant.

                • RedLogix

                  In one nation we got to a public trial. Unthinkable in the other.

                  Yet here you are still pretending that the CCP runs a morally superior nation where everything is transparently pure and perfect.

                  • francesca

                    Seems to me its unthinkable that powerful men in the US will ever face trial over their alleged crimes re Epstein

                    Dershowitz for example is barely touched in the media

                    All those guys who flew in the Lolita Express, a who's who of American power, wealth and influence.

                    Where are the public trials, let alone investigations.No, it's Maxwell who must be symbolically crucified for their sins

                    • RedLogix

                      Seems to me its unthinkable that powerful men in the US will ever face trial over their alleged crimes re Epstein

                      Yes – but then the real reason for this is probably not the one you think it is. The central question no-one is asking in public is 'where did Epstein come from'?

                      It's my sense that he was a construct.

                    • gsays

                      Spot on fransesca.

                      The hypocrisy is stunning.

                      Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury
                      Raise the Double Standard

                      Many years ago Michael Franti was awake, aware and pissed off. Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy was his outlet.
                      The early Spearhead albums carried on in this vibe but way more melodies. (Unfortunately, his more recent stuff reflects his comfort, happiness and, dare I say it, resignation.)

                    • Ad

                      Nor ought we let female sex crime enablers off the hook.

                  • Blazer

                    What was Bin Laden charged with…again?…or Solimaini…or….

                • Ad

                  No, unlike your comment it was in response to the original comment at 1.

                  Always impressed that the left cannot defend human rights when it's the United States makes a stand for it … because of something else which makes everything the US might do impossible to be right.

              • Sanctuary

                Personally, I'll be interested to see if Putin is going to back down over his sabre rattling towards the Ukraine. 175,000 Russian troops with oodles of heavy equipment will be ready come the end of the rainy season and when the cold hardens the ground around January-February.

                Putin may gamble the Europeans will sell out the Ukraine and go for a blitzkrieg and a fait accompli. Doesn't seem his style of hard power, but he is quite reckless in his behaviour otherwise so.

                The French seem particularly bellicose about defending the Ukraine, so I guess it boils down to whether or not Putin feels they'll actually fight.

                • Subliminal

                  You don't think you might be succumbing to US propaganda just a little Sanctuary? Russia has no need to take responsibility for the Biden/Nuland created failed state that is the Ukraine.

                  What Russia does require is secrity on her borders. History shows conclusively the periodic attempts by the West to invade. How far is Moscow from the Ukraine border? I believe, something like 300km.

                  If you believe that NATO has any honourable intentions towards Ukraine I suggest you check out Yugoslavia, Libya and Afghanistan. The intention is to provoke a reaction by Russia that will allow the complete severing of ties with Russia.

                  Russia is now in a place where they understand that attitudes such as yours are entrenched and no amount of careful explaination of what is occuring in Ukraine will change that attitude. They have offered citizenship to all in the Donbass that wish to take it up but there is still a significant amount of anti Russian sentiment. Hence the Minsk agreements which Europe has done its utmost to sabotage.

                  That said, it is certain that there will become a level of NATO involvement in Ukraine that can no longer be tolerated by Russia. Recall the proximity to Moscow. Continuing to arm Ukraine and act as though ready to come to their aid even though it is certain that NATO will pull back and apply "heavy" sanctions. After all chaos in a failed state allows all kinds of miscreants to flourish that can do all kinds of "annoying" things. Think ISIS but change the label to Asov Brigade.

                  We are now very close to that point. Putin has clearly stated that when action is needed it may be better to act first. The West is not agreement capable. NATO has moved so far east it is now almost in Russia. Continuing this means the outcome is certain. It wont be nice for anyone.

                  • Sanctuary

                    Putin watched the collapse of the USSR as a KGB officer on a comfy wicket in East Germany. One moment he was the feared secret policement of the mighty Soviet Union with all the nice to haves of an overseas posting, next he was just another loser from Russia.

                    He took all the wrong lessons from that experience and his long game is to restore Russia to true great power status by re-absorbing the richest Slavic states of the old USSR.

                    I doubt he will attack the Ukraine just now though – he isn't that dumb.

                • Gezza

                  The French might be bellicose but they'll most likely do bugger all & look for an opportunity to surrender at the first sign of casualties.

                  • Sanctuary

                    The French military is way more than a match for Russia's clapped out forces.

                    People often fail to grasp how poor and weak Russia is.

                    Russia's GDP in 2020 was about 1.483 trillion USD, which is about the same as Australia/NZ combined.

                    France's GDP in 2020 was about 2.603 trillion USD.

                    • Blazer

                      In your dreams …they will be firing supersonic missiles-(Russia has a modern arsenal)….not euros.

                    • Sanctuary

                      Most of the Russian tank park uses 40+ year old vehicles. The T-90M, the most modern Russian tank available in any numbers, entered service almost 30 years ago and is derived from a 50 year old design that itself was a compromise design after the new T-64 proved too problematic and expensive. Their NATO contemporaries like the Leopard 1, AMX-30, Chieftain and M-48/60 series have all been long retired and the fundamental weakneeses in protection and survivability of these old Soviet designs cannot be addressed. A similar situation exists in the rest of the armoured vehicle fleet. They have some pockets of decent kit in the AA and rocket artillery but most of the equipment is old and dates back to the end of the USSR/1990s. The Russians are good are trumpeting new designs as wunderwaffe but they can't afford to procure new weapons in any numbers. The supposedly world beating T-14 Armata tank, of which 2,300 were expected, so far consists of exactly 20 tanks delivered and about a 100 in total will be procured. The new T-15 MICV will also be procured in the low 100s, not 1000s. Russia produces these vehicles hoping mainly for foreign sales.

                    • garibaldi

                      Get real Sanctuary. The Russians have set red lines and they mean it, whilst the disorganised NATO forces keep goading them. They won't know what's hit them when it happens.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Russia does not intend to fight the French of course – their specialty is former soviet republics equipped with the same gear or worse.

                      Biden's sanction threat is interesting – blacklisting Russian banks would play hell with the Russian economy – but it would also probably defund the mango Mussolini. Must be mighty tempting.

                    • Blazer

                      @ Stuart…sanctions have worked ,far better for the U.S than military operations.

                      But sanctions don't do much for shareprices on the Dow.

                      Who wants to die for the Ukraine…the French,the Germans,body bags for the U.S!

                      Russia can take out the Ukraine by…lunchtime.

            • francesca 1.3.1.2.1.2

              "as we've seen from international tennis" it's been a fizzle

              WTA is on its own

              • Ad

                What a special breed of moral cowardice you have.

                New Zealand's Labour government has already responded that it will not be sending Ministers.

                Over 200 human rights groups have already formed a clear position with the US on this.

                NoBeijing2022: Open Letter Government Boycott – Google Docs

                To get to your obvious next point: no, it doesn't matter if they "work" in the sense of getting China to change its mind on its repression.

                What matters is that it encourages more people to speak out against human rights abuses in China.

          • francesca 1.3.1.2.2

            What do you mean "why"

            Or are you talking to someone else

            I assume you haven't read the link.It's rather long

            He writes that in declining cultures, women and girls cop it, trading the last thing they have left, their bodies, for survival.

            If you're referring to tennis boycotts , how effective has the shaming been?

            https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/dec/06/peng-shuai-international-tennis-federation-does-not-want-to-punish-14bn-people-with-a-china-boycott

            • Ad 1.3.1.2.2.1

              Very effective: it's the only instance so far of the Chinese government responding to a "disappearing" within 48 hours.

              Shame is the instrument you have to force change.

              The Chinese government responds quickly to it.

      • SPC 1.3.2

        What has been realised by this effective diplomatic pressure?

  2. Molly 2

    World Inequality Report is out (one of the authors, Thomas Piketty).

    As this problem worsens, so does the issue of addressing climate change with balance become harder, Systems all directed the benefit the few are going to be difficult to dismantle or reconfigure.

    • francesca 2.1

      Don't know if you've followed Craig Murray, (recently released from prison).His take on Cop26

      Nuclear power, blue hydrogen – expect to have these and other high centralisation, high energy schemes foisted on us now as “solutions.” They are in fact solutions, in this sense. In Glasgow the people were shut out while the global super-wealthy asked themselves this vital question:

      “The planet is heading for environmental destruction: how do we make money out of that?”

      They believe they have found some of the answers

      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

      • Subliminal 2.1.1

        Exactly what I was reading this morning Francesca. The NZ Greens have one part of the equation right with the push for retrofitting home insulation but have never really got behind a decentralised energy system that utilises local roof space to generate power. It is only in these types of initiatives that defund the trickle/torrent up to the 1% that we will beat climate change with some degree of energy security. Energy is the key point of economic control. Massive support of local energy generation would be truly democratising.

      • RedLogix 2.1.2

        Nuclear power, blue hydrogen – expect to have these and other high centralisation, high energy schemes foisted on us now as “solutions.”

        Whining about 'techno fixes' while typing on the internet really always struck me as a most obvious delusion.

        And none of these people ever listen to those people in the world who live without electricity. Sure we like to take short breaks from the complexity of the modern world and call it 'camping'. The people who have no choice but to cook over dung fire all the time call it something else – poverty.

        And Murray really seems to have fallen behind the pace with his references to ‘blue hydrogen’. The very terms brown, blue and green hydrogen were created to make the CO2 implications of each pathway clear – and all the important game in town that I’m seeing is firmly aimed at CO2 free green hydrogen.

          • Robert Guyton 2.1.2.1.1

            Thanks for that, Arkie – I'm sooooo tired of the sort of response RedLogix made here, "Whining about 'techno fixes' while typing on the internet really always struck me as a most obvious delusion."

            Your cartoon says it elegantly.

          • RedLogix 2.1.2.1.2

            "We should improve society somewhat" – well yes. But what's unsaid is that the proposed 'improvement' is to undo the technological underpinnings that make that society possible.

            And here you are posting this idiot cartoon on the very internet only made possible because of the very technology you pretend to despise.

            • Robert Guyton 2.1.2.1.2.1

              How you interpreted "what's unsaid" as "undo the technological underpinnings that make society possible" could do with expanding upon, for the sake of clarity.

              It seems you've drawn a very long bow indeed!

              • RedLogix

                To give a decent good faith answer to that would take way more than a comment or even a post. But yes – one of the absolute critical pre-conditions for human development is energy density and reliability. The correlation between GDP per capital and energy consumption per capita is almost perfect.

                This does not mean that all of our GDP is well directed, nor does it mean all of our energy generation is ideal either. Far from it – there is indeed plenty of room for improvement and many pathways to achieve it.

                But they all involve more and better technology – not less as so many people seem to advocate for.

                • arkie

                  not less as so many people seem to advocate for

                  The word seem is doing a lot of work here.

                  No-one has advocated for that, you have imagined it.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    As well, RedLogix, given that you say that some of the many expressions of technology are not/less than "ideal", the idea that removing that from the picture shouldn't cause you to declare that it is an "idiot cartoon" and dismiss it outright.

                • Robert Guyton

                  How though, does that (@11:19 am) relate to that (@10:48 am)?

            • arkie 2.1.2.1.2.2

              Do you have any evidence that:

              what's unsaid is that the proposed 'improvement' is to undo the technological underpinnings that make that society possible?

              I have not seen that argument made here except you projecting it onto others. It's been explained to you numerous times, why continue to trot out this strawman?

              Why do you feel the need to imagine what others believe? It's bad faith and not conducive to informative discussion.

              Where have I ever said I despise technology? Evidence or retraction please.

              • RedLogix

                I've made my case in great detail many times. On the other hand what I see far too often is sniping from people who 'make themselves a small target' and never making their own convictions clear.

                • arkie

                  I'm well aware of your case, as you say I have read it many times.

                  Who you determine to be sniping is, again, your opinion, not based on anything they actually wrote. This isn't good faith argumentation.

                  I am still awaiting your retraction.

                  • RedLogix

                    In the absence of a clear position from you what exactly would I be retracting from?

                    • arkie

                      The things you fabricated in your response to me.

                    • RedLogix

                      In the absence of a detailed case from you I can only speculate. If you don't like that – tough.

                    • arkie

                      Our policy:

                      What we’re not prepared to accept … includes making assertions that you are unable to substantiate with some proof (and that doesn’t mean endless links to unsubstantial authorities) or even argue when requested to do so.

                    • RedLogix

                      You're the one making the assertions here – and refusing to back them up despite being invited to do so. You've had three chances now to explain your position clearly and yet have refused to do so.

                      I can now assume you don't want to. Does that sum it up?

                    • arkie

                      Could you point to an assertion I have made that needs to be backed up? I cannot seem to find it.

                      I haven't refused anything other than your characterisation of the views of other commenters. It doesn't seem in the spirit of good faith debate to speculate on the views of others just because you deem them to have not made themselves clear enough.

                      To reiterate: I don't despise technology, and I don't think you need to abandon technology to adequately deal with the problems we face as a species.

                    • RedLogix

                      I don't despise technology, and I don't think you need to abandon technology to adequately deal with the problems we face as a species.

                      Good that was all you had to say. Happy to retract my claim above.

                      Now can I assume your first comment in this thread in response to my sentence above:

                      Whining about 'techno fixes' while typing on the internet really always struck me as a most obvious delusion.

                      It's pretty clear this wasn't directed at you, but still you posted an idiot cartoon which spectacularly fails to address it's own pre-suppositions.

                      Murray's own article clearly takes aim at nuclear power and hydrogen energy storage and excoriates them as 'ways to make money'. As if this was some sort of crime against humanity. Perhaps more than anything else I'm completely over grifters like him who coin good money telling us how fucked the world is – while at the same time ruling out all the obvious ways to improve it.

                    • arkie

                      Saying that someone can't criticise 'techno-fixes' because the are using the internet is precisely what the cartoon was about. It's not a delusion to criticise the system in which you live, that's where the criticism should come from.

                      If you couched all of your speculations or extrapolations of other peoples points with 'I imagine…' or 'it seems to me' then I wouldn't have felt the need to ask you for your evidence.

                    • RedLogix

                      Saying that someone can't criticise 'techno-fixes' because the are using the internet is precisely what the cartoon was about.

                      Again Murray's article that I was responding to take the usual unthinking line that because our present technologies are less than perfect – that all attempts at improving them are 'techno fixes' that must be condemned out of hand.

                      Especially if anyone might be so reprehensible as to 'make money' doing it.

                      It's really nothing more than a dressed up version of Luddite thinking. And very common among the typing classes who promote a hatred for the Western world at every chance they get.

        • francesca 2.1.2.2

          RL
          Surely you’re not suggesting we embrace all technology without question?

        • Subliminal 2.1.2.3

          Well for a start, NZ is talking about some colour of hydrogen production at Tiwai point. Green they say, using Manapouri hydro power. Trouble is that that just means we need to run all our fossil fueled power longer because of the hugely increased demand for production of hydrogen. Its not green just because you can slice and dice the market to make marketing statements. So your green really is blue unless done somewhere like the middle of Australia where electricity is not being diverted and holes filled by fossil fuels

          • Robert Guyton 2.1.2.3.1

            Manapouri hydropower will not go to Bluff, for whatever reason.

            It'll go to Christchurch.

          • SPC 2.1.2.3.2

            Unlike smelter potlines, production of hydrogen is flexible – it can be scaled back in dry hydro years, and if they bring in Onslow dry years are covered (so we can end use of carbon for electricity generation).

      • Molly 2.1.3

        Thanks, francesca. I do occasionally, but been spending time in the garden recently, taking frustration out on the weeds. Will go and look.

    • Siobhan 2.2

      Thanks for the link….its a shame talking about inequality always gets sidetracked by arguments about the pros and cons of technology (re:Climate Change) ..when really the point is we need a radical reset of our economic, political and social settings ..and the inherent prejudices and self delusions … otherwise inequality will continue to thrive..be it in a lovely land of desert style permaculture or 'Logans Run' style high tech …

      • RedLogix 2.2.1

        when really the point is we need a radical reset of our economic, political and social settings

        Really? Can you point to a single example where this has worked out well?

        And given the obvious lack of detail for the radical changes you propose – I can only assume you really don't want to say much about what you have in mind.

        For a start – who do you think will be in charge of this reset? You?

    • Ad 2.3

      It's our own society we can focus on more usefully.

      Right here right now we are one of the most unequal societies in the world, and the government 'interventions' over the last 2 years have made this far, far worse.

      All you had to do was own a house or two, or a business, and you're away laughing.

      Bernard Hickey and Max Rashbrooke both have fresh insights published this year on this.

      • Molly 2.3.1

        Our society follows the blueprint provided. I've been following our growing housing crisis for over a decade now. Used to attend public forums and workshops, read every article and book I could get my hands on. It doesn't take much immersion to understand nothing will adequately solve the issue because the political will doesn't exist. All parties are loathe to interrupt the gravy train, for fear of the resulting spillage.

      • RedLogix 2.3.2

        Right here right now we are one of the most unequal societies in the world, and the government 'interventions' over the last 2 years have made this far, far worse.

        Because helping people who've been told they're helpless victims is impossible.

  3. Pete 3

    The difference between living in NZ and the USA?

    "Tragedy was narrowly averted after police pulled a M4 rifle on a 13-year-old after the child aimed a toy gun at the officer and pulled the trigger.

    The Police Association says it is lucky the incident didn't turn out worse, and reflects a growing number of complicated situations officers are being caught up in, as indicated by the Tactical Options Report for 2020.

    "The officer approached the subject while presenting an M4 rifle and told him to drop his gun; the subject continued holding the weapon directed towards the officer and pulled the trigger," the report says.

    The child dropped the toy gun eventually and was referred to youth aid."

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/police-tactical-options-report-officer-pulls-m4-rifle-on-13yo-with-toy-gun-maori-7-times-more-likely-to-have-violence-used-against-them/LCHFJY2CWGPI2NUKPRQ4LR3SQE/

    • francesca 4.1

      thanks Gezza

      So soothing!

      Just when my feathers were getting flustered.

    • phantom snowflake 4.2

      That was truly heartwarming. Thanks G!

    • mary-a 4.3

      Cheers Gezza .. a lovely little family.

      • Gezza 4.3.1

        That pukeko family all moved on somewhere downstream when I spent most of 2019 down at my mother-in-law's place at South Tawa helping out before she passed away from bowel cancer during the first 2020 lockdown, mary.

        There's been a new, young male pukeko in the stream in recent weeks. He was very timid & always here alone, altho I could hear another pook call when he did. My first attempts to toss him some bread saw him take fright and run away; he must've thought I was throwing it AT him.

        But earlier this week he cottoned on, after watching me throw bread down to the ducks, and began reacting to his name (Pooky) and going after the bigger bread chunks I aimed at him. He'd make me smile as he took a wee while to work out not to bite into it too hard as when it's wet it falls apart and the ducks get it. But he soon realised and would take it to the far bank to hold it in his "hand" and eat it.

        He actually came into my place yesterday & came to the kitchen window several times, asking for bread chunks. And he's been at the fence this morning. But now he's not eating it himself. He's taking it away along the top of the river bank. That means there are pooklets somewhere. And he's feeding them.

        • Gezza 4.3.1.1

          Yep. Confirmed.

          Just went out to the fence to look for Pooky as I could hear him "chirping". Looked over, and straight below me, about two metres down in the stream-bank foliage, two adults – and their pooklet quadruplets! smiley

          Think I've got them on cell vidcam. The sunlight was behind me & it was hard to focus the cell camera. The pooklets tend to run into cover when the adults give the alarm, which they did, but I just kept talking to them gently and threw them some bread chunks to feed their babies, which they relaxed a bit and did.

          Hopefully I've got some of the pooklets in the vids. There is no way I'll go near the pooklets or get between them and the adults at the moment. They'll panic and come close & threaten me with shrieks and flapping wings, & the male might even attack me – which may prompt the female to as well.

  4. Jimmy 5

    Hope this "oxygen thief" spends a long time behind bars. Willing to kill people over two cans of beer! What a loser.

    Surprise guilty plea in Dunedin Countdown supermarket stabbing attack | Stuff.co.nz

  5. francesca 6

    RL

    Are you alluding to Mossad ?

    Or something else?

    Keen to explore

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Well the first place I'd start to look for answers is – allegedly Epstein was a very successful hedge fund trader.

      There should be records of this.

  6. lprent 7

    AWS has outages.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-59568858

    There are all kinds of services down across parts of the internet.

    " It is ALL in the Cloud … but now Cloud is gone" as a workmate quipped.

    In the case of this site I only use Route 53 on AWS these days for the DNS, the rest of the system is local. There will be some ancillary processes affected – at least one off-site backups. But I'll keep an eye on route 53.

    Looks like it is US-EAST-1 in Virginia that has the major issues. Cascading out of that.

    https://www.techradar.com/nz/news/aws-is-down-and-taken-whole-chunks-of-the-internet-with-it

  7. Molly 8

    The Canadian province of Prince Edward Island has invited a biological male to speak at a memorial service dedicated to the women who were slaughtered in an act of anti-feminist terrorism in 1989.

    The P.E.I Advisory Council on the Status of Women has invited Anastasia Preston, a biological male who identifies as a woman, to speak about "gender-based violence" at a vigil remembering 14 women who were murdered in a sexist massacre 32 years ago. – 4w.pub

    Does this give any disquiet to the "Transwomen are Women" crowd?

    How about now?

    Talking to CBC about being invited to speak at the service, Preston commented, "For decades, trans women have been kept out of the conversation around gender-based violence”. He then talked on, at length, about being trans.

    He said that, at the memorial service, he would describe his own experiences as a ‘trans woman’ and gave an example which involved him being ‘groped’ in a bar while wearing a red dress.

    When people expressed their outrage at this appalling insult to Lépine’s victims, CBC turned off the replies to their tweet. This afforded Preston another opportunity to hijack the murder of 14 women in order to press the trans agenda and bang on about ‘gender based violence’.

    Those women were not murdered because of their ‘gender’ but because of their SEX.

    Had Preston been in that classroom and instructed to leave with the other men, would he have lingered to complain about being misgendered? Of course he bloody wouldn’t.

    Not only safe spaces, then…

    • Sabine 8.1

      Non Males, are they even human?

      This person is on record for having ‘protested’ memorials for these 14 women* who were killed for being women* for not including trans identified males, since at least 2013.

      https://www.gendertrending.com/2013/11/20/transgender-activists-plan-protest-against-day-of-remembrance-for-women-murdered-in-the-lecole-polytechnique-massacre/

      Quote:
      ” Reed believes that all males can become female if they simply claim to be, and has lobbied for the right to have a state-funded medical procedure to insert a surgical “neovagina” near his penis, so that he can have the appearance of having two sets of genitals.
      Reed and his “transwomen” co-organizers are
      offended by any feminist or women’s event that addresses the issues that affect women because they feel that such events discriminate against them as males.”

      Such bravery, much stunningnessness.

      Non Males, are we sure they are even human? And of course we need to totally affirm any and all fetishes of men lest they feel ‘discriminated’ against.
      Oh the brave new world we are creating for Non Males.

      • Molly 8.1.1
        • Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
        • Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
        • Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
        • Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
        • Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
        • Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
        • Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique's finance department
        • Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
        • Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
        • Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
        • Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
        • Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
        • Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
        • Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student

        The names of the women killed… for being women.

        Those following the current discussion will find the rhetoric of the male responsible familiar:

        Forgive the mistakes, I had 15 minutes to write this. See also Annex.

        Please note that if I commit suicide today 89-12-06 it is not for economic reasons (for I have waited until I exhausted all my financial means, even refusing jobs) but for political reasons. Because I have decided to send the feminists, who have always ruined my life, to their Maker. For seven years life has brought me no joy and being totally blasé, I have decided to put an end to those viragos.

        I tried in my youth to enter the Forces as an officer cadet, which would have allowed me possibly to get into the arsenal and precede Lortie in a raid. They refused me because asocial [sic]. I therefore had to wait until this day to execute my plans. In between, I continued my studies in a haphazard way for they never really interested me, knowing in advance my fate. Which did not prevent me from obtaining very good marks despite my theory of not handing in work and the lack of studying before exams.

        Even if the Mad Killer epithet will be attributed to me by the media, I consider myself a rational erudite that only the arrival of the Grim Reaper has forced to take extreme acts. For why persevere to exist if it is only to please the government. Being rather backward-looking by nature (except for science), the feminists have always enraged me. They want to keep the advantages of women (e.g. cheaper insurance, extended maternity leave preceded by a preventative leave, etc.) while seizing for themselves those of men.

        Thus it is an obvious truth that if the Olympic Games removed the Men-Women distinction, there would be women only in the graceful events. So the feminists are not fighting to remove that barrier. They are so opportunistic they [do not][note 2] neglect to profit from the knowledge accumulated by men through the ages. They always try to misrepresent them every time they can. Thus, the other day, I heard they were honoring the Canadian men and women who fought at the frontline during the world wars. How can you explain [that since][note 3] women were not authorized to go to the frontline??? Will we hear of Caesar's female legions and female galley slaves who of course took up 50% of the ranks of history, though they never existed. A real Casus Belli.

        Sorry for this too brief letter.

        Marc Lépine

      • The Al1en 8.1.2

        Wanna have a go at ranking your top 10 of these men's fetishes so I can play bingo?

        • Anker 8.1.2.2

          No 2. S and M and a possible gun fetish. Not what parents will have in mind when they enrol their kids in girl guides but # we must have inclusion!

          https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10235539/Girlguides-launch-probe-trans-Commissioner-58-saucy-dominatrix-style-picture.html

        • Anker 8.1.2.3

          https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/teesside-woman-accused-using-sex-22260053

          Number three indecent exposure "women accused of exposing her penis"

        • Molly 8.1.2.4

          What's your point? Do you have one?

          Do you want to give me your top ten ways that transwomen are women?
          (Then, I can play smart-ass bingo as well… I’m guessing that’s what you think we are doing.)

          • The Al1en 8.1.2.4.1

            Well normally a pointed claim like "we need to totally affirm any and all fetishes of men lest they feel ‘discriminated’ against." would be a please cite moment and end in either enlightenment or derision, so I went for light hearted eye roll.

            • Molly 8.1.2.4.1.1

              Unfortunately for you, Anker (and many others here) would be able to provide you many links for the assumptive interpretation you made, but we'll let you delve into that deep rabbit-hole independently. (Sorry, your reference to Sabine was off thread, so thought you were responding to Anker)

              Those men have little in common with the young people exploring their own gender identities and sexualities in this discussion, although the transgender umbrella unfortunately shelters them as well.

              Which brings back the "light hearted eye roll" request of my own…Without links, I would be very interested in how you consider transwomen to be women. Five reasons would do, since the ten might be out of your grasp.

              • The Al1en

                My child is transgender. I've watched this debate play out here, read much anger, and lost much peace because of it. I respectfully decline your request.

                • Sabine

                  If you child is transgender, than you should be more then I actually worried about Men who are not trangender but who have a serious fetish, and wanting a vagina NEXT to your penis is a serious fetish, high jacking the NON debate, and pushing a narrative that is bad for women, and transgendered people.

                  I have made it quite clear in my comment that i do not consider this man to be transgender, he is not even passing nor making an attempt to pass, he is a fully intact male with lippy and a serious fetish.

                  Maybe seriously understand that there are other people there that will do way more harm to your transgendered child then I or any other Non Male on this site could ever create.

                  We have made it quite clear on more then one occasion that there is a distinct difference. And someone wanting to have a penis and a vagina is not transgendered. Sorry, but no.

                  And last, no MAN – transgendered or not – should speak on this event.

                  These women were KILLED, STABBED, SHOT, after the murderer seperated them from the men. This was femicide. A massacre against Women. Not transgendered Men or Women, not Drag Queens, not Cross Dressers, Not Sissy Players, but women who went there to study engineering.

                  Seriously can you really not understand that? Because if you can't, that we need no longer include you in this NON debate. Non so blind as those that don't want to see.

                  As for your bingo Card?

                  Go play with yourself.

                • Molly

                  No light-hearted eye roll allowed for us then.

                  Your child being transgender may give you some insight into the discussion, but not insight into the concerns of women on the impact of proposed legislation. That is why the discussion is taking place, on this political platform..

                  Canada has passed this legislation, and this post was an example of the impact of unquestioned gender ideology has on the real world.

                  No-one on this forum has put forward any explanation about how transwomen ARE women. We are expected to accommodate this mantra, while knowing the effects of living in our female-sexed bodies in this world, and knowing that it is different from that of a trans identified male.

                  Women are finding themselves dismantled into body parts in public institutions, losing hard-won single-sex spaces and shifted out of competitive sport.

                  We are watching our young people and children being directed to simplistic solutions for the harrowing and often distressing mental health conditions that have always existed, but have increased in part due to heavy social media use. We see within them a reflection of our own selves, and our gratitude at not being included into today's zeitgeist, is tempered with our sadness for those that are who will have permanent reminders of those treatments, surgeries or otherwise.

                  We take note of the organisations that no longer support our gay and lesbian communities.

                  We watch with dismay, those autistic children who make up every increasing numbers in the transgender community, especially those of us within the spectrum ourselves.

                  We see those with intentions other than gender expression, take the transgender label for their own purposes, and by doing so, harm those who are innocently exploring their own identity, as well as those (most often women) that they target and harass.

                  You love your child, as I do mine. Perhaps your love will allow you to consider that there may be some who are miles away from your child's self expression, who use the transgender umbrella for their own purposes. And you might also be able to consider that you could support both your transgender child, and address women's concerns without needing to take such a dismissive stance when those concerns are aired.

                  We need problem solvers, but we need those brave enough to see the problems.

    • The Al1en 8.2

      I don't see the problem with a trans woman being invited to speak at a memorial service commemorating an act of anti-feminist terrorism any more than if they asked a man who identifies as a man to, though with the historical stuff probably not this one. Surely if either's speeches were coming from a good place, they're just as valid to be there and heard?

      • Anker 8.2.1

        This person invited to speak has been protesting the lack of inclusion of trans women since 2014.

        Its anti women terrorism. Some of us don't agree that trans women are women.

        I don't think you can say that Preston was coming from a good place.

        Just imagine if the memorial service for the people at the Chch mosques were being held and some group continued to protest that they should be included………no thank you.

        Preston should have shown some respect for the dead. Imagine if it was your relative and somebody was trying to score political points.

        • The Al1en 8.2.1.1

          I don't think you can say that Preston was coming from a good place.

          Which is why I didn't – I generalised the hypothetical man and trans. I did write "not this one" though, so?

          I don't know what debate were having here. My comment is about how having a penis shouldn't be grounds to silence a genuine participation at a memorial.

          • Molly 8.2.1.1.1

            I don't know what debate were having here. My comment is about how having a penis shouldn't be grounds to silence a genuine participation at a memorial.

            Which proves you didn't even bother to read the post before commenting.

            Not a lot of learning or thinking going on there. Abstract ideas, when carried out in real life have knock-on or unintended consequences. This is a situation where the abstract idea is too simplistic.

          • weka 8.2.1.1.2

            My comment is about how having a penis shouldn't be grounds to silence a genuine participation at a memorial.

            At the memorial of women shot because they are female. Why shouldn't men be excluded from speaking? I could see a place for men talking about male violence against women and what men should be doing about that, but what's the point of having men speaking about women's business?

      • Molly 8.2.2

        "I don't see the problem with a trans woman being invited to speak at a memorial service commemorating an act of anti-feminist terrorism "

        Yes. I know that there are many that don't see the problem, even when the speaker has mentioned their intentions to redirect the memorial towards harm suffered by transwomen. This is not the place, nor the time. Hijacking someone else's suffering for your own purposes should not be celebrated.

        The experience of women and transwomen are not equivalent, and so are not interchangeable. I would have the same disregard for a man speaking of the harm suffered by transgender prostitutes in South America when they are comfortably ensconced in the UK.

        • The Al1en 8.2.2.1

          As I just wrote above, I suppose.

          You wouldn't have an issue if a man or other non contentious trans woman spoke, to pay their respects, though?

          • weka 8.2.2.1.1

            If a man was speaking at that event about violence against men, then yes, I would have a problem.

            • The Al1en 8.2.2.1.1.1

              Absolutely there's many places men should be excluded from. My point being a commemoration service surely isn't one of them?

              • Molly

                You keep trying to generalise, without addressing this specific invitation to someone who has disrupted the memorial service for years to appropriate the event for their own purposes.

                Catch up.

                • The Al1en

                  Sure, I have, in the first post I wrote 'though probably not this one'.

                  The generalisation is deliberate to divorce it from the individual involved. It's as clear as I could make it.

                  You've since answered my point and that's fine, thanks.

                  • Molly

                    Full sentence:

                    I don't see the problem with a trans woman being invited to speak at a memorial service commemorating an act of anti-feminist terrorism any more than if they asked a man who identifies as a man to, though with the historical stuff probably not this one.

                    Readers are supposed to conclude from this garbled sentence, that you thought this speaker was not a good choice? And what historical stuff? The massacre itself, or the years of disruption to the memorial service?

                    If you are determined to not see the real life impacts of inclusivity without limitations or questions, then these discussions will continue to upset you.

          • Molly 8.2.2.1.2

            "You wouldn't have an issue if a man or other non contentious trans woman spoke, to pay their respects, though?"

            If they had some connection to the people or place, and spoke on that event, No. If they were there to self-promote, Yes. There are always some who seek to gain from others misfortunes, so I'm wary about letting anyone unconnected – or without power to make change – to be given a platform at such events.

            The trans-inclusivity in Canada is really strong, and the point is that after several years of protesting at the memorial service, this person has now been invited to speak.

            Past behaviour does not seem respectful to me. Does it to you?

            • The Al1en 8.2.2.1.2.1

              If they had some connection to the people or place, and spoke on that event, No. If they were there to self-promote

              Excellent. Maybe I should have led with that question in the first instance.

      • Sabine 8.2.3

        Oh my the left, being so inclusive.

        So very very inclusive of a poor misunderstood and mistreated white male with a serious fetish.

        Never mind the bodies of the dead women strewn all over the place. That is just, i guess an inconvenience. I guess if these women did not have the totally stupid idea that they were safe from being shot at university and would have stayed home as good women should that would not have happened. Right?

  8. Ad 9

    Does anyone here know why the Greens united with ACT last night to propose sending the housing bill back to Select Committee?

    It had no Parliamentary effect, but I couldn't see the Green Party rationale.

    ACT And Greens Unite For Democracy | Scoop News

  9. Anker 10
    • Disgusting.
    • and of course in NZ there have been very few trans people murdered. Far more women………..but no, trans rights far more important than 14 murdered women. We must have inclusion (sarc)

    words fail me over this

  10. arkie 11

    Baffling. None of the recommendations of the 2019 WEAG have been completely implemented. What fantastic support /s

    • Gezza 11.1

      Chloe chooses a "hard-faced" pic of the PM for her tweet. Sometimes your "fair-weather friends" will turn on you, Jacinda. Remember that.

    • Ad 11.2

      +100

      We are now in a full stratified class based nightmare.

      The new Max Rashbrook book out on New Zealand class stratification and massive declines in class mobility is on point.

      • Pete 11.2.1

        Well done to Max Rashbrooke. I'm trying to work out though the surprise about what his work comes up with. I appreciate he quantifies some aspects of inequality but it's sort of "tell us what we don't know."

        Just recently Alwyn Poole, of charter schools note, seemed to be surprised about the kids at schools in Manurewa not ending up with the life choices of the kids in the Epsom and Mt Eden schools. What?

        I'm not sure what brought about the realisation.

    • Blazer 11.3

      If Chloe was P.M for 6 months ,she would easily sort this housing crisis out .

      Lab/Natz both play kick the can down the…road.

      • bwaghorn 11.3.1

        What are miracle fixes?

      • pat 11.3.2

        How? (sorry, bwaghorn…same question)

        • Blazer 11.3.2.1

          Simple=crash the market.

          Soft loans to new home buyers for a set period where if they sell they forfeit profit.

          Exclude investors from interest only and leveraging existing equity to buy more property.

          Introduce a real capital gains tax.

          Introduce a levy on homes empty for more than 6 months.

          Use it or pay a tax on landbanking.

          No accomodation supplement paid to landlords who own more than 4-5 properties.

          Ramp up state housing.

          Things that will restore the Kiwi dream and give our young generations a stake in this country instead of going abroad because they are priced out of their own country.

          Who would be affected….only parasitical investors relying on unearned income to screw the market.

          People who own homes for families to live in,would not be affected.

          Its obscene to have a country as rich,with as much land and resources as NZ and have the number of homeless,and 23,000 living in motels while the Luxons of the world make more on a house in a week than the much vaunted 'hard working Kiwi'.

          • pat 11.3.2.1.1

            Yes, they could deliberately crash the housing market….and spend the next decade or two dealing with the negative fallout, or rather the new administration (National/Act) will.

            It will happen, but no-one wants it to happen on their watch because it will mean they are unelectable for a generation.

            • Blazer 11.3.2.1.1.1

              Not sure that would be the result…the numbers negatively affected would not be that great in the big picture.

              Not forgetting NZ's aging population and new voters becoming a force,I doubt it would be a decades long lashback.

              Look at the damage Rogernomics caused…it actually became a default policy for the…Natz.

              • pat

                I think you underestimate the impacts

                • Blazer

                  Housing market crashed in the U.S with the GFC….works it way back up again.

                  I know the investors,the FIRE economy would scream….thats why my original post on this matter suggested it would take a Chloe to have the steel to…do it.

                  • pat

                    Housing represents over half of NZs wealth as opposed to less than 30% in the US, not to mention that US mortgages are largely non recourse (hand back the keys and walk away from the debt).

                    • Blazer

                      Around half the U.S states have non recourse….anyway..I was going to recommendlaugh to Chloe she include non recourse when she takes the recommended..initiatives.

          • Stuart Munro 11.3.2.1.2

            Simple=crash the market.

            No need for that – just give the state a monopoly on home mortgages, and make them interest free. Absent the dead profiteering hand of the banks, house prices will gradually return to sanity.

            • Blazer 11.3.2.1.2.1

              You must be a Communist Stuart….car crash,drowning,heart attack..your days are…numbered!cheeky

              • Stuart Munro

                I've pretty much had that treatment already over the slave ships – some folk really didn't want that whistle blown. So – not much left to lose eh 😉 .

  11. Ad 12

    I certainly have no time for the politics of Sandra Goudie of TCDC and Lee Vandervis of DCC, but it is a really big step to stop an elected member from coming into their own debating chamber.

    Thames-Coromandel mayor opposed to vaccine mandates may have to work from home | Stuff.co.nz

    Let's see if any of Auckland's local board members or Councillors can't take the pledge and then get excluded.

    • weka 12.1

      it's being left up to the councils, right? Seems a step too far to me. I get the need to be seen to be doing the right thing, but there are limits to that.

    • They can attend by Zoom…..or they could set an example to the people of NZ and get vaccinated.

      High standing officials who fight vaccination encourage people who are wavering not to get vaxxed…they should be excluded from all Council and government buildings.

    • McFlock 12.3

      Nope. They can work by zoom. Like everyone had to when lack of vaccination meant lockdowns were the first and last measure available.

      If they want to live by old school rules, that's their choice.

  12. Jacinda 2, Leader #4 (or is it 5) 0

    Lux Flakes made no impact for the second question time in a row. Jacinda easily batted away his rather inept attempts to 'hold the government to account.'

    • Robert Guyton 13.1

      Lux Flakes

      Nice.

      Makes me think of dandruff though, and given the dearth of hair…

      I'd go "Lux Flake" though.

    • Subsequent question by Seymour – Jacinda made him sound like a fool.

      Gosh, she's good!

      • Robert Guyton 13.2.1

        Jacinda's slap-down of Seymour was elegant and perfectly delivered. I agree with you, Tony: she's good!

      • Herodotus 13.2.2

        You mean our PM cannot answer an easy question, that if answered truthfully would cause to see failure in wage growth from yesterday. Perhaps the PM and her senior MP's need to get out into the real world and see the consequences instead of her playing political games. Great to read that you find that behaviour "con"mendable. Pity about most of us seeing a 2+% in real terms loss in our wage value. Not everyone owns multi properties or has a house increasing in annual value more than the PM's annual salary.

        "Act leader David Seymour asked the PM why she said yesterday that inflation was at 2 per cent and wage growth was at 3.5 per cent – when Statistics NZ had reported that in the year to September, inflation was 4.9 per cent and wage growth was just 2.4 per cent.Ardern said she stuck to her original comments, but also agreed that the Statistics NZ report was accurate.Seymour went back to his original question, asking why the PM had said wage growth was outstripping inflation when it was the opposite. Ardern said her figures were in respect of a question Seymour had asked about May this year – not September.

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/chris-luxon-v-jacinda-ardern-round-two-pm-national-leader-lock-horns-over-auckland-border/KJ7SAPIFYLF6HPWMWIEMTT63PU/

        • observer 13.2.2.1

          She certainly did answer the question, but it seems you haven't understood the answer.

          The numbers were different because May comes before September, as the PM patiently explained.

          (and if you want to know what happens in Question Time I'd suggest Hansard rather than Herald. One is the original source, the other is a slant).

          • Herodotus 13.2.2.1.1

            If she needs to manipulate the numbers so as not to address the issue fine, why did she not use the most current figures ??? Her playful use of numbers still doesn't help those who are on wages that see, unlike what the PM states a reduction in value of their income making it harder for many. and that is not taking into account the progressive tax system, that deducts a greater % in each $ over $14k But what would the government know about day to day life. Happy that you find the such avoidance a trait to commend.

            I perhaps recommend that unlike the PM you should consider what happens in the real world, and smugness does nothing to improvement of those in need. But many here have lost that bearing and sit making smartass and derogatory comments.

            https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA2111/S00035/inflation-double-wage-growth.htm

  13. Sacha 14

    Waitangi Tribunal hearing about Covid response equity. https://www.1news.co.nz/2021/12/08/analysis-maori-no-longer-shouting-covid-grievances-into-void/

    In any case, the fact that many Māori feel aggrieved enough to take the Crown through the tribunal process is significant. The Government’s response to Covid-19 will undoubtedly be a topic of discussion come Waitangi Day next year. If the tribunal do find a Treaty breach the Government is going to find it difficult to convince Māori it has delivered for them.

  14. General Debate:

    Grant Robertson on fire!

    Lux Flakes barely coherent – no better than Judith. All he's doing is parroting the Key rhetoric – 'ordinary New Zealanders,' farmers and so on, are doing it tough. Nothing new, nothing exciting.

    • observer 15.1

      Robertson demonstrates the old political adage: being hated is bad, but being mocked is worse … poor old Luxon:

      • Question: did Luxon deliberately avoid following Grant's brilliant speech to avoid being shown up as the bumbler his is?

        I noted he waited until both the PM and Robertson had left the chamber – what is he afraid of?

        • Blade 15.1.1.1

          I don't know… but I do know a day is a long time in politics…especially for Labour. Hell, even woke liberal TV news has finally woken up. Couldn't believe my eyes on tonights news. Let's see how TV3s '' The Project'' handles the iwi road block issue. I'm looking for good spin.

          Talking of of being afraid, I see the PM cancelled her 1pm indoctrination session, and was herself not too keen to be in the chamber. What could she be scared of?? Quite a lot really – it's all about to go pear shape.

          • observer 15.1.1.1.1

            I see the PM cancelled her 1pm indoctrination session, and was herself not too keen to be in the chamber.

            Oh dear. I thought you were one of the smarter ones.

            It's Wednesday. The PM is in the House every Tues/Wed, barring unusual circumstances. A tradition, true of all previous PMs going back decades. Why would she not be there as usual? (She won't be there tomorrow – again, as usual).

            Watch the video. She was there for the entire Oral Questions, even after hers had finished, and then stayed for the first part of General Debate (Robertson's speech above).

            It's too early to diagnose Full Derangement Syndrome in your case, but do take care. Once it takes hold, facts are no cure.

            • Blade 15.1.1.1.1.1

              ''Watch the video. She was there for the entire Oral Questions, even after hers had finished, and then stayed for the first part of General Debate (Robertson's speech above).''

              Yes. I got my facts wrong. The above is what Barry Soper reported. Obviously the PM is keeping an eye on the kids.

              ''It's too early to diagnose Full Derangement Syndrome in your case, but do take care. Once it takes hold, facts are no cure.''

              That's a little hurtful.' I'll be back.'

      • Robert Guyton 15.1.2

        Jeepers!

        "50 shades of beige"?

        Grant's evisceration was elegant, eloquent, and funny – ya can't beat that!

    • Robert Guyton 15.2

      Yep.

      Boring.

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