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Open mike 10/04/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 10th, 2020 - 189 comments
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Step up to the mike …

189 comments on “Open mike 10/04/2020”

  1. Robert Guyton 1


    It's the unpredictable, left-field aspects of C-19 that perhaps hold the greatest potential for a re-imagined world.

    "If it's true that the best ideas happen in your sleep, the world could be about to experience a surge in creative output, with many reporting they are having more vivid dreams in lockdown. 

    Neuroscience educator Nathan Wallis said it's not necessarily that we're having more dreams than usual — it's that we've got a better chance at remembering them when we don't have to leap out of bed in the morning."


    • Anne 1.1

      Ok. Well I had a vivid dream last night. I went downstairs to my garage and found the floor covered in white sheepskin fur. It looked very nice but I don't know how it got there.

      Would someone care to analyse what it means please? 😮

    • weka 1.2

      We should keep a running list. It reminds me of the Cuba stories, about the benefits that came from losing cheap oil.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    On golf clubs and the "fuming" green keepers:

    "Golf clubs had been fuming about the delay in responding to their request for an exemption, fearful of fungal disease causing millions of dollars of damage to their courses."

    Itching to get their fungicides out and give the greens a good drenching? 


    • aj 2.1

      A Hamilton Greenkeeper speaks up:

      A voice of reason

      Many articles, public communications, news items etc are signalling this period allowing for no maintenance as the death knell for the game in this country. This may sound a bit over-dramatic, but I have seen at least one publication, by a supposedly world recognised body, that not mowing greens for a matter of weeks may result in the need for regrassing! Others are predicting wholesale destruction of greens and other surfaces as the result of disease.
      This all sounds very ominous and the hyper connected world we exist in now means this message is spreading far and wide in record time.

      It is true?
      In a word, No! A lot of what is circulating in my view falls into the “fake news” category.

      Announced yesterday:

      Sports and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson said the government had allowed urgent maintenance to go ahead but only after new guidelines were issued. This will happen after Easter.

      “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead after the Easter Weekend,” Robertson said. “This includes non-plantation nurseries, stadia turf, and golf and bowling club turf maintenance.”



    • Cricklewood 2.2

      Council contractors were mowing the local maunga the other day grass was about 5cm long didn't really see that as essential at this point.

    • Rosemary McDonald 2.3

      Ah…those fungicides, that also double up as wormicides.

      Because who on Earth would want those unsightly worm casts spoiling the turf aesthetic?

      Turn the turf into food forest!


  3. Molly 3

    My partner has been working from home, and is now going to take annual leave for a week, and return before the lockdown lifts.  He has been talking with his employer about the changes to their workplace practices, but also about the impact Covid-19 will have on their clients and customers and what adaptations will be necessary in the post lockdown period in order to keep moving forward.

    I have read the posts on TS about tourism and other industries, and think that there is a such a diversity of businesses within those industries that it is pointless to try and impose a blanket approach to dealing with the fallout.  I'm of a mind to agree with weka, that tourism as it has been practiced in recent years, has not been the positive it has been portrayed.  As our advertised attractions have been mostly natural, outdoor environmental experiences, we have gained vast numbers of tourists who can pay little to visit these places, whose impact is often having to be mitigated by local authorities and their residents – sometimes with a very small rating base.  Some tourist businesses are thriving, but workers are often lower waged precarious workers. 

    The idea that Ad previously proposed "We serve.  And there is no shame in it" is a good soundbite but flawed.  As I previously posted in response:

    As someone who worked in hospitality and customer service for quite a few years, those jobs – while providing you with income often put you in a position to experience both the best and the worst of people.  I would also be confident in saying that younger females would also have more incidents of harassment to report, both from other staff members and the public.

    There are more than a few that assume that payment for food, entertainment means that they are direct employers – rather than they are being delivered a service by workers.  And that old chestnut, "The customer is always right" is often used to excuse bad behaviour.

    While travelling many years ago in Greece, I remember looking around one of the highly touristed towns with signs out the front of cafes saying "Fish and Chips" and "Full English Breakfast" and wondering what the actual locals felt living in such a place where their culture was covered up by the catering to English tourism.  It felt like such a loss, both for the tourists who didn't experience anything different, and for those who made a living to cater to such short-sighted tourism.

    As for NZ, I don't know how well our tourism dollars are distributed amongst those who work in the industry.  How many zero hours contracts, part-time workers or those not on the living wage?  As the costs are socialised amongst ratepayers, and other members of the communities, we really need to have a good look at the business model of distribution before assuming that the amount of income is the only criteria to consider.

    Providing for, or mitigating the effects of visitors is a cost often borne by local authorities and this can be at a cost to small bases of local ratepayers, who often see other essential infrastructure put on hold or deferred.  As part of the attraction to NZ, is the natural environment the ability to retrieve costs from visitors is limited, while the damage done to those attractions and the surrounding environs is not.  This socialisation of costs, while a small proportion of tourism operators and employees enjoy a good return, is a model that strains the state's provision of infrastructure and contributes towards long-term inequality.

    So – how do we ensure that the return of employment in this – and other industries – creates environments where resilience is strengthened rather than a return to BAU?

    I think we really need to investigate tax structures again, and implement some form of tax system that recognises the benefits of including the other bottom lines of  environmental, social and community.  These are the impacts of business that give local communities their resilience and value in their locale, and our country.

    I'm enamoured with the B-Corporation impact assessment tool.  Mostly, because it seems so very comprehensive, that even businesses that seem to be already including the three bottom line approach have only 60% of the total.    How impactful would it be to have something similar for NZ, that includes points for climate change mitigation, reinvestment of profits into NZ, investment in employees, environmental and community impact – both positive and negative?

    By changing business or corporate tax to reflect a scale that measures the positive impact of each business allows the government to support businesses that have built themselves up to practice sustainable models, by reducing their tax obligations.  Businesses that follow the singular financial bottom line, with externalities on community and environment, will have to pay the top of the corporate tax rate.

    This means that we don't have to pick and choose industries, or provide grants and incentives that only get accessed by a few.  We would have a tax system that collects more from businesses that act without regard for others, while reducing the load on those that do – regardless of size or function.



    • Ad 3.1

      Tax reform would be an excellent place to start the recovery. 

      Which parts out our tax system would you change, while enabling the government to necessarily massively increases its services to society?

      • Gabby 3.1.1

        I'd say licencing fees paid by 'local' businesses for intellectual property of 'completely separate and unrelated' companies based in Switzerland (not at all for tax reasons) would be paid out of after tax profits.

      • Brigid 3.1.2

        Financial transaction tax.

      • Molly 3.1.3

        Sorry for the delay, the weather was just too good and the paint pail needed to be finished.  Just got back inside.

        (Housing needs to be taxed appropriately.  That is a whole other discussion, and one that has been had before on TS.  NZ needs to regard access to affordable, healthy homes as a necessary and basic building block to build a healthy and equitable society.  Some methods of avoiding personal tax by the use of trusts etc needs to be looked at as well.  GST is another tax that penalises the lower income and should be phased out. )

        However, my suggestion was in terms of corporate or business tax.  And I proposed a method of progressive taxation based on the rating of the business in lines of something like the B Corp assessment tool.  Businesses that rated highly, would have a lower tax rate.  Businesses that did not – and the ones most likely to have external costs that environment or society pays for – would pay a higher rate.

        (Compliance and needs to assess and remain on point may be a sticking point, but if you are already running a business that considers these aspects, you will be recognised with a lower tax rate.)



  4. Andre 4

    Just got some COVID-19 anecdotes from infected rellies that further highlight why elimination is by far the best strategy. COVID-19 may cause long term breathing dysfunction beyond observed lung damage, with  deaths possibly occurring long after apparent recovery.

    But first, the caveats. This is from my nephew in France, who recently finished his medical training and has been doing his first few hospital stints. He says his personal observations are corroborated by his colleagues, but I had a quick look online and didn't find anything that even looks vaguely like a proper study. So at best it's an early heads-up of something that might be happening, but more likely just noise rather than signal.

    He is currently still in recovery from COVID-19. His case would be called mild – ie like the worst case of flu most people ever experience, but he didn't get to the point of needing external breathing assistance (his mother's case is similar). He has noticed his normal reflex to draw breath has been significantly suppressed. This is shown most dramatically by exhaling as far as possible, then trying to not inhale again. Normally this gets very distressing very quickly. In his current COVID-recovering state, he is able to sit there completely calmly feeling no need to inhale, even while his measured CO2 levels are spiking and oxygen dropping. This is particularly concerning for stopping breathing while asleep, and he notes that simply dying while asleep appears to happening at an unusually high rate among COVID-recovering patients.

    • Ad 4.1

      One of our colleagues working here is French – his mother and grandmother died of the virus on the same day last weekend. 

      • Andre 4.1.1

        It's looking more and more likely that when the dust settles, our government's response will be held out as the best model for western liberal democracies. That Italy and other parts of Europe got hit much harder earlier so we had reports of how bad it could get certainly helped make restrictions here palatable.

        • dv

          IN NOVEMBER the US Intelligence had a heads up

          Covid 19 coronavirus: Intelligence shows US was warned in November – report


          American intelligence officers knew a new contagion was sweeping Wuhan in November but they couldn't get the message through to the top, according to ABC News.

          VERY VERY costly for the US.


          • Cinny

            Trump was asked about it during yesterdays presser.

            He was extremely defensive claiming he knew nothing about it.  Then he vilified the media outlet(s) who ran the story, as he always does.

            Possibly his most deadly decision was to ignore the advice.  Could one go so far as to say he is in part responsible for mass murder.

            Edit… those currently setting up for the presser are wearing masks, that’s a first. I wonder if those speaking and reporting will be wearing masks today as well. Agent orange usually appears around 10am – 10.30am for a two hour rant and questions from the press.

            The dodgy tory fox network is the only stream that has their chat open. Here’s the link if you are interested

            • dv


              The US has 460k cases and 16k deaths
              NY has major problems

              China has 81k cases with 3k deaths (Maybe)

              • Cinny

                Every country is saying they are flattening the curve, trump constantly assures the american people they are doing great. 

                The scary thing I feel is the USA has only just begun.  God help them.

            • dv

              I saw by accident some Fox news the other night.


              • Cinny

                I'm hearing you on that DV.

                Andre, " Gonna be interesting watching the reaction of the MAGAmorons as info like this trickles out. "

                The sad thing is many of them will also put their fingers in their ears, preferring to defend their views rather than appear foolish, just like trump does. 

                Speaking of which I wonder if agent orange will be on time today.

                • dv

                  May be Cinny you can be nominated as the designated watcher, to slow the spread of the trumpanmenic

                  • Cinny

                    Lmfao, funny you should say that….he's just turned up. 

                    If I don't end up zoning out on his crap or throwing something at the computer, I'll do a little update later 🙂

            • RedLogix

              Possibly his most deadly decision was to ignore the advice.  Could one go so far as to say he is in part responsible for mass murder.

              Indeed. Now answer me this, what massive political crisis was going down in the USA during Nov, Dec and Jan? Just when you say Trump should have been paying lots of attention to this new virus in China?

              And when senior CCP officials were in the White House on Jan 15 to sign Phase 1 of the hugely important US-China trade deal … did the Chinese bother to give a heads up to Trump?

              Or what more can I say about WHO's Tedros whose prevarication and delay is beyond incompetent?

              Trump is just one faulty link in a long chain of failure here.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              The power of words – a list of Trump's favorites:

              Win, Stupid, Weak, Loser(s), Fake News, Deep State, Political Correctness, The Swamp, Smart, Tough, Dangerous, Bad, Veterans, Amazing, Make America Great Again, Tremendous, Terrific, Military, Out of Control, Classy.

              Enough said.

          • Andre

            Gonna be interesting watching the reaction of the MAGAmorons as info like this trickles out.

            It may well be that CovidCamacho has a rock-solid floor of 42% cultist support that's absolutely unbreakable.

            Maybe the Manchurian Rotmelon will just slowly bleed support as one-by-one the straws add up breaking supporters backs.

            Or maybe something will cause the dam to burst and he'll end up in a similar approval/disapproval situation as end-of-second-term Shrub.

          • bill

            American intelligence officers knew a new contagion was sweeping Wuhan in November but they couldn’t get the message through to the top, according to ABC News

            My initial reaction is to put that in the 'blame China' box of bullshit.

            If covid 19 was 'sweeping' Wuhan in November, then the very first identified case of "unusual pneumonia" from Dec 8th is a lie, yes?

            And the lock-down of Wuhan, instead of occurring about four weeks after the realisation that an epidemic was breaking out (Jan 23), would (according to that ABC report) have been some eight weeks or more after an outbreak was suspected.

            Aside from the usual tell tale signs of bullshit (ie – unnamed "officials"), a look at the consequences for various countries going into lockdown at given time periods after initial cases have been detected, also points to the reporting being bullshit.

            Bottom line – there is a lot of finger pointing going on by officials from countries that were slow off the mark. So, the WHO is to blame for their own levels of incompetence, and China is to blame for their own levels of complacency…

            Legacy/mainstream/pop/corporate media (I wish I could settle on a descriptor for the arseholes) really needs to get its shit together and stop giving credence to garbage narratives and desperate propaganda.

            • dv

              Maybe Bill.
              Yes lotsa finger pointing!!
              Good too see the US in control then. (Sara)

              • bill

                I think 'everyone' can agree the US response has been woeful.

                What I can't quite get is the free pass being given to political actors who are only interested in notching up points.

                For example. The Wisconsin Primary was spun as an "evil Republicans" line, when the reality is that both the Democratic Party and Republican Party have been casually encouraging people to go out in the middle of a pandemic to vote.

                And that ABC piece subtly plays on the "blame China" narrative to pivot and ultimately blame Trump and his admin for the situation in the US. While it's  legitimate to point to the failures of the current Admin, are we to believe that a Democratic Party President would have been "on the ball" and protected the people of the US? That seems to be the implicit message of the piece.

                Yet we've had Biden tweeting that people should get out and vote in spite of there being a pandemic, and we've had the DNC threatening states that might postpone primaries.

                To my mind, the "red team/blue team" tribalism that degenerates so much political discussion and debate to the level of 'mindless slanging match', needs to be pinned down, doused and torched.

                The "red team" and "blue team" are part and parcel of the same structural and political problem. That that gets overlooked and drowned out by those who noisily rush to cheer on their colour is to the detriment of us all and any understandings we might otherwise develop.


                • dv

                  Fair enough Bill.

                  Tribalism is a problem.

                  But the Trumpians don't get the scale of their problem yet.


                • Anne

                  The whole political scene in Amercia is so 'up the creek without a paddle' that it was inevitable something was going to happen to the country which would drag it down to near subsistence level. It looks to me like the combination of a mad president and the pandemic is going to do just that.

                  Do I have any sympathy?  Yes. I feel for the intelligent and sane among them, but the rest of them? Nah. not a bit. They are reaping what they sowed.

                  Your comment "red team" and "blue team" sums it up. They play their political games like teenage, blonde haired  bimbos – complete with brightly coloured feather dusters (that's what I call them) – gyrating round a sports arena barracking for either the red team or the blue team – whichever colour takes your fancy.

        • Ad

          The New Zealand government – together with that of Taiwan and Australia – will be entitled to bask in global glory once we decrease our lockdown status.

          But as the unemployment lines grow fastest here because the economic hit is so deep and so savage, the longer term judgement will be:

          Was the New Zealand public health response worth the deliberate economic damage?

          That's the evaluative scale coming.


          • pat

            "Was the New Zealand public health response worth the deliberate economic damage?"

            Do you seriously wish to suggest that the economy wouldnt be in meltdown now without lockdown?….200,000 jobs in tourism alone and god knows how many riding on the associated increased activity…and then take away the wage subsidy and how does your economy look?

            Its not either or and never was….time for some clear thought

            • Andre

              That we would now be in economic freefall because of what's happening worldwide no matter what the government did and even if somehow the coronavirus had never made it here is a fact that some people are going to need to be reminded of over and over and over again. Because some people are going to try to pretend otherwise in order to undermine the government.

              So even if there might have been a theoretical better response that might have had a tiny bit more economic activity in exchange for a slightly looser response with more resulting disease and death, the reality is the much more likely outcome of a looser response would have been vastly more disease and death in exchange for maybe just a tiny bit less economic pain. If we were lucky, that is, but probably more disease and death and more economic pain.

              • pat

                 "Because some people are going to try to pretend otherwise in order to undermine the government."

                Some definitely for that reason but many in desperation….its understandable but as said clarity of thought is what is required, fortunately we appear to have it at the top unlike many countries

          • Incognito

            Was the New Zealand public health response worth the unavoidable and inevitable economic damage?


            In any case, the Q as such doesn’t make logical sense because it is based on a false premise and is more of a rhetorical one, IMHO 😉

            In addition, the Q should be asked, as is happening more and more, what will NZ do when we have eliminated the virus but whilst the rest of the World is still in utter disarray? You could call it the $64,000 Q in more than one way.

            • pat

              or the 64 billion dollar question

            • Ross

              “In any case, the Q as such doesn’t make logical sense because it is based on a false premise and is more of a rhetorical one, IMHO”

              I don’t see it as rhetorical.

              • Incognito

                That’s nice to hear, Ross. How do you see it?

              • Ross

                Alas, I couldn't edit my comment but was going to add that the meningococcal vaccine, MeNZB, which was rolled out in NZ in 2005 is a good example of large sums of taxpayers' money being wasted despite good intentions. Of course, time will tell whether NZ's response to Covid-19 falls into the same category.


                • Incognito

                  According to some, the Government’s actions are pushing the country to the brink of economic destruction. And according to some, this is a too high a price to save a few lives of people who’d die (soon?) anyway. And according to some, those vulnerable people should be isolated for self-protection so that the rest of the country can return to normal and save the economy or what’s left of it and before it’s too late. According to some, we should follow Sweden’s approach to COVID-19. Irrespective of the validity of those arguments, this is not just wasting a few taxpayers’ dollars on a measly [pun] vaccine.

                  • Ross

                    Irrespective of the validity of those arguments, this is not just wasting a few taxpayers’ dollars on a measly [pun] vaccine.

                    Well, $200 million isn't a few dollars and apparently was, at the time, the most expensive health programme ever introduced. But I agree that it pales in comparison to the economic cost of the virus. 

                    I'm not convinced that we can afford to save lives at all costs – which seems to be the orthodoxy here. Lobby groups have argued that an increase to Pharmac's funding would save lives. Governments, not just the current one, haven't been persuaded. In other words, there has been, until now, a limit to how much money Government's have spent to save lives. Rolling out MeNZB was a departure from that position, and the current action seems to be a departure.

                    As I said, time will tell whether we over-reacted.


                    • Incognito

                      I disagree with you on multiple points, which is a good thing as it can hopefully stimulate healthy discussion (or not).

                      I'm not convinced that we can afford to save lives at all costs – which seems to be the orthodoxy here.

                      There’s no orthodoxy as such. There’s a plan and we, not just the Government, are executing it. It is crystal clear that we cannot “save lives at all costs” as there are already two deaths, sadly. The aim of the plan is, and has always been, AFAIK, to minimise deaths and minimise impact on the economy over the long run.

                      Lobby groups have argued that an increase to Pharmac's funding would save lives. Governments, not just the current one, haven't been persuaded.

                      This is a misleading comment IMO. Funding of PHARMAC has increased. Saving lives is not a linear function of funding; you can spend millions on one life-saving drug to save a relatively small (!) number of lives. It is about diminishing returns on relatively large increases in funding. We can never save all lives of cancer patients, for example, not even when we throw unlimited amounts of money, time, and effort at it because we are technically not capable of accomplishing this. There are always real and physical constraints to what we can and cannot control and/or achieve, which is why we have to debate these issues publically. Which is why have politics 😉

                      In other words, there has been, until now, a limit to how much money Government's have spent to save lives.

                      There is no given fixed limit as such, unless you can point me to one. As a society, we make a choice on how much to spend on saving lives based on political, economic, social, and moral considerations. If you like, you can divide total Government spending by the number of citizens to derive a crude number spent on each of our lives each year. These considerations slowly change over time in quality and quantity (weighting).

                      Rolling out MeNZB was a departure from that position, and the current action seems to be a departure.

                      Not quite. It is a relative shift but not an absolute one. Much of the economic pain would have been imposed on us anyway because of the global response to the pandemic. The ‘relaxed’ approach of Sweden does not seem to be paying off [pardon the pun].

                      As I said, time will tell whether we over-reacted.

                      Only to a point, and of limited use right now. We will never really know for sure what – if, we can speculate and direct blame (and guilt & penitence & punishment) …

          • Gabby


          • NZJester

            Was the New Zealand public health response worth the deliberate economic damage?

            There would likely have been far more so-called "Economic damage" without the lockdown.

            A lot of businesses would have likely been affected by the loss of staff due to deaths and large numbers of those who survived with limited or no ability to continue in their jobs as before due to ongoing medical problems such as damaged lungs, failed or failing organs, and even some emotional problems due to the loss of close loved ones.

            Saving as many people as possible makes it much easier to rebuild after this has blown over, than if these steps had not been taken.

    • ianmac 4.2

      Chilling Andre. If dying while asleep is a product of Covid then a whole new disaster will unfold. Hope your nephew is wrong!

    • Molly 4.3

      Returning to a conversation from last week with mauī and weka, it seems the official advice of the NHS is to avoid ibuprofen, but to treat fevers – including that of Covid-19  – with paracetomol. I have seen this several times in the UK media.  (NZ doesn't seem to have this advice.)

      Wouldn't this interrupt the immune response to the virus?

      (Note, every GP except the one I had 23-25 years ago, told me to treat any viral fever in my children with paracetamol.)

      • Andre 4.3.1

        There really doesn't seem to be consensus on whether ibuprofen is harmful or not. The arguments against it seem based on theoretical considerations, rather than clinical observations.

        There's a notable absence of anything claiming that ibuprofen has any particularly helpful effects for COVID-19 victims.

        So if anyone is foolish enough to follow the reckons of a random dude on da webz over their doctor's advice, personally I'd probably just use paracetamol. Although ibuprofen works well for me in other situations, so I might give it a shot as well just for the placebo effect. If I were in the situation of suffering enough from COVID symptoms to fell the need for pharmaceutical relief, that is.

  5. Ad 5


    West Coast local government politicians are not keen to take pay cuts in solidarity with pretty much everyone else:


    They claim the Remuneration Authority means taking the money completely is just legally compulsory. 

    It's not that hard for each Council to form a holding account, put all pay into it, and give it out at a reduced rate, because ……


    ……. that's what almost every other business in the country is having to do. 

    FFS when sacrifice is called for, don't call west coast politicians.

    • Cinny 5.1

      Greymouth elected a tory hairdresser who loves loves the vino as their mayor.  JS

    • alwyn 5.2

      "don't call west coast politicians".

      Who should we call on? Have we heard anything from our Central Government Parliamentarians for example?

      Perhaps 50% cut in salary and perks all round for MPs. How does that sound?

  6. Robert Guyton 6

    Chris Trotter gets stuck in … gently!

    "The television promotions for the various sporting codes – especially Rugby Union and Rugby League – feature a terrifying sequence of images glorifying brutal bodily contact, exaggerated aggressiveness, and exultation bordering on complete loss-of-control. What we see is what’s left of the human male when everything dignified, intelligent, creative and compassionate has been edited out of the masculine narrative.


    These promos are made all the more frightful by the knowledge that they wouldn’t look that way if the punters wanted to see something else. Clearly, smearing the screen with testosterone is the best way of getting the boys to tune-in. It’s possible, of course, that the clips are assembled for the pleasure of the sporting codes’ female devotees. At least that would make a sort of – equally troubling! – sense. In the end, however, these gloriously kinetic visual packages are all about reaffirming and celebrating a particular kind of masculinity. They present the human male as a dangerous, uncompromising and predatory bundle of muscle."


    • mac1 6.1

      A good essay.

      Does it also explain why some men have aggressive dogs, shave their heads and wear tattoos, walk with exaggerated thigh movement, and wear hoods?

      • KJT 6.1.1

        The ones that are trying to compensate for their low status and powerlessness, in society.

        Just as Trotter is still compensating for his low status at high school. Similar impulse behind both, methinks.

      • gsays 6.1.2

        Billy Connolly calls them 'spectacularly tattooed fuckwits'.

    • KJT 6.2

      Obviously, he wasn't any good at sport!

    • Ad 6.3

      Great phalanxes of talented athletic men (and increasingly women) have left New Zealand for Australia, France, Canada, US and UK to get rich when they would otherwise have just caused trouble back here. Most will be getting paid high six figure salaries for about 5-8 years, then  get out through injury.

      International sport has been our quiet working class revolution for two decades. You can name the schools who will never generate Nobel Prize winners but who can generate international stars. Kelston Boys High. Marist. Penrose. They are islander and Maori dominated, and they got out.

      Chris just sounds old his soul.

      Unlike those sporting career-people, he lost his testosterone years ago and it shows,

      The only war stories he has are losses.

      • KJT 6.3.1

        Like "saturation" divers. They don't earn more than anyone else, just earn it faster?

        Always considered the "intellectual lefts" dislike of popular culture, such as sports, a spectacular own goal. An artefact of "Opiate for the masses", maybe?

        I'm not a sports watcher myself. Even watching the ones I enjoy doing, is boring. Didn’t do well in ball sports at school either. Preferred reading books or going sailing. But I grew out of it.

        However it gives pleasure to a huge number of people and a living to many others, often from minorities.

        Kilikati is as far from Trotters characterisation as you can get.


        There are ignorant Neanderthal sports people, just like anywhere else, Mark Richards. There are also the John Kirwans, and all the Māori and Pacifica youth who’ve, built the discipline and responsibility learned in sport into future careers.

      • Incognito 6.3.2

        There’s been a long anti-intellectual undercurrent in NZ and I wonder if the pandemic response has sprung a tiny leak in this. Yeah, nah.

        • KJT

          I wonder how much of that is a perception from "intellectuals" themselves, thinking they are not getting the respect from the "plebs" they deserve, rather than reality.

          My father, an ex Teacher, and a real "intellectual" himself, has no time for the out of touch University Professors, who he says have inflicted on New Zealand schools a " decades long experiment". 

          • Incognito

            I don’t have time for anyone who’s wilfully and knowingly ‘out of touch’ and flaunts it, wears it like a badge of honour (bumper sticker), and brags about it. This applies across the board.

    • KJT 6.4

      Far from Trotters characterisation of lockdown flouters as Neanderthal, sports loving Waitakere man, it seems the largest number of rule flouters, and deliberate breakers of the lockdown, are well off beach mansion owners, sneaking out for a holiday under cover of darkness.

      Increasing the chances of spreading the virus from their Auckland supermarket, to small holiday towns.

      Following Bridges “good” example.

      • mac1 6.4.1

        KJT, your characterisation of Trotter's man as a Neanderthal Waitakere man is less than just to his article.

        I believe his defining of the characteristics of the rule-flouting, aggressive, ungentlemanly, quick to insult and be violent men who are the subject of his article can also be found in the well-off beach mansion crowd, amongst businessmen and workers, amongst the educated and the illiterate, the powerful and the powerless. 

        The causes are complex and beyond my present comprehension.

        I have sent this article to an old friend and mentor who is a psychologist who worked with youth offenders in the States. I will be interested in his comments, but I bet he will mention fathers, being bullied, abuse and lack of spiritual dimension in the man's life.


      • Carolyn_Nth 6.4.2

        I agree.  Trotter characterises 2 sides of the same masculinity coin (and there are other kinds of masculinity).

        But Trotter favours the masculinity of the upperclass British imperialist colonisers.  Many of them also did not have such a great record with abusive treatment of women and others with little power, away from the public or official gaze, behind closed doors, etc.

        As well as those sneaking off to their holiday homes, are the boaties ignoring polite requests to stay away from Great Barrier Island, draining needed resources from locals, and potentially spreading C-19 there. Irresponsible, selfish, "idiots" all of them.

        I like watching men's and women's rugby when it's available on freeview. I record and fast forward through promos (the focus of Trotter's post), pre-match gossip, profiles and chatter, and switch off before the prize giving ceremonies.

        Many of the male commentators do present a kind of cheer-leading of macho qualities during men's matches, which I'm not keen on. I've always found some of their language a bit iffy – praising big strong men as "prime beef", and "a big unit" – animal and machine?

        • KJT

          The British "perception is reality".

          You read in so much British writing, the assumption that a tidy house, is a marker of character.

          Or in my experience. British Captains judging an officer, on his ability to keep his uniform tidy and smart, and get the flag up at sunrise, on the dot. Never mind if he was bloody useless at anything else.

      • Graeme 6.4.3

        Na, the bach lot are pretty much the same people, just maybe a bit older and more affluent.  The part of society Trotter is describing has always been here, but morphs slightly with each generation.  Their whole world is all about 'ME' 


    • AB 6.5

      To be fair to Chris – dissing sporting culture isn't really at the point of his piece. I think what he is doing is saying that a more rounded form of masculinity might result in fewer cases of idiotic, entitled, lockdown-breaking  – and that's across all social classes.

      That seems like a reasonable idea to explore at least. But it does lead him into some shallow stereotyping, including of sportspeople. This tends to happen with Chris when the over-fluent language-generating part of his brain overwhelms the editing part. He's a good writer, but at his worst when that happens.

      I reckon if one was to take him aside and point out that catholicity of taste, interest and talent is a much truer marker of sophistication than narrow intellectualism – he'd agree with you. Think Sir Philip Sidney – capable both of fighting the Spanish and dashing off a sonnet. 

  7. Treetop 7

    Central hypo ventilation syndrome is when carbon dioxide increases and oxygen decreases. There is a late adult onset which can be deadly during a general anaesethic or with a virus affecting the lungs. A mutation of the PHOX2B gene is usually found in this rear condition.

    Reply to Andre @ 4.

    There is a considerable family history on my ex husbands side of this. 

    I would be interested in knowing how many deaths from Covid-19 carry the PHOX2B gene. As well the level of acidosis in people on a ventilator. It is my understanding that organ failure is strongly linked to acidosis.

    • ianmac 7.1

      I noted that immediately after my one operation, that the nurse stood beside me and told me to breathe more deeply because her meter showed my oxygen levels drooping. I assumed that the anaesthetic residue had to be purged. 

      • Treetop 7.1.1

        I thought about decreased oxygen and increased carbon dixoide and Covid-19 having a link a few days ago.

        Central hypo ventilation syndrome could be missed as a cause of breathing differculties after a general anaesethic.

        Anaesethic has other causes atelectasis.



    • Treetop 7.2

      I was to late to correct rare and the reply is out of place.

    • Andre 7.3

      Thanks for that, Treetop. I'll mention it to him. He and his colleagues may be already onto it, he did mention brainstem and genetic factors.

      • Treetop 7.3.1

        Gene sequencing and Gene screening is required. Also a sleep study to be sure. There are other genetic markers such as NPARM.

        The scariest thing is that the condition shows when asleep and when awake there is usually no sign of it.

        Even mild sedation can be an issue. Not sure if some medication which causes sedation is increasing the death rate.

        I suspect a correlation or Covid-19 is a viral form of central hypo ventilation syndrome.

        There has been discussion of CPAP devices, that is what got me thinking about a link.

        Some severe cases require a tracheotomy at birth until the child is old enough to wear a CPAP mask.

    • Incognito 7.4

      It could be organ failure but this doesn’t quite explain the loss of the breathing reflex. It is possible that COVID-19 also causes neurological damage to nerves and/or parts of the brain involved in the breathing reflex. If I were a recovering patient, I’d stay off the alcohol for a while, especially in the evening/night 😉

      • Treetop 7.4.1

        I do not have a clinical or a scientific background. I have learnt a lot through dealing with the health system in the last 20 years, more so in the last 5 years.

        What you raise about the consumption of alcohol needs to be taken on board. This could be a factor in a higher death rate in the elderly.

        During the 1918 influenza epidemic it was suggested to have a whiskey to ward off catching influenza or to cure the flu.


      • Rosemary McDonald 7.4.2

        "…loss of breathing reflex."

        Fascinating thread.  Some ten years ago whilst neutropenic due to chemo for leukemia,the worst happened and my man caught a bug which resulted in a chest infection. Poor isolation rule enforcement on the ward.

        For  C4/5 tetraplegic this could be fatal.  Anyway…himself can cough a little, but unfortunately his efforts triggered some kind of chest wall muscle spasm.  Result, atrial fibrillation and his  autonomic breathing mechanism folded. At the height of the struggle the nurse and I got him to totally engage with his breathing…"in, two three four, out two three four "

        …and this he had to keep up consciously for the next three days and nights. Piped oxygen actually made things worse . Peter recalls now that he pushed the mask away…it simply wasn't  helping.  Somewhere we read that if the oxygen from the pipe is too high the the body thinks it has enough already.

        To sleep I managed to position him semi upright and slightly on his side so he could doze a little.  Too high or too low and he had to again concentrate 100% inhale, 100% exhale.

        He was not offered CPAP or BIPAP but we did do periodic saline nebulizers.  It took a good three days for his autonomic breathing system to 'come right', but even today, if he is doing something requiring effort and concentration(like reeling in a largish fish) he has to 'remember' to breathe.

        Funnily enough we have been practicing our breathing over the past few weeks…especially when he was in hospital and hooked up to the oxygen saturation monitor.

        • Incognito

          Thanks Rosemary.

          You’d be surprised how shallow many people’s breathing is. We seem to think we all know how to breathe well, but we don’t, really 😉

  8. Forget now 8

    Had a good night's sleep last night for the first time in a week. But optimism proved short lived. IL6 receptor blockers are expensive!



    • Forget now 8.1

      The reason I was looking at IL6 (interleukin 6 cytokine) blockers was this piece in the Lancet I read last night:




      Having to post this link as a reply to earlier comment, as the system ate my previous words when I tried to do two links in one post. Typing on a mobile phone is trickier, but at least you can pace and keep an eye on kids while doing so. 


      Would cut and paste quotes from linked piece, but mobile – so; sorry, I am not going to.

    • Incognito 8.2

      If the drug name ends with “ab”, it is an antibody and guaranteed to be expensive.

      • Stunned mullet 8.2.1



        • Incognito

          If you want to keep trolling commenting here than I suggest you make your contributions more constructive. I’m more than happy if people point out errors of fact and correct these. You failed on both counts. To self-correct, the drug name should end with “mab”, not “ab” as I said earlier.

          • Stunned mullet

            Frankly your continued accusation of trolling to anyone who disagrees with you is tedious.

            Your are correct in stating that the generic nomenclature ending in 'mab' signifies a monoclonal antibody it is usually expensive when still under patent but pricing often falls dramatically when patents expire.

            • Incognito

              You don’t seem to understand that it is (your) behaviour that I label as trolling, not the fact that someone (you) disagrees with me. It is common among trolls to misunderstand this difference, which is why they usually continue with their behaviour and cop a ban. Frankly, it is tedious.

              It is common for any drug that comes off patent to become available at cheaper price. However, this is relative and depends on demand, effectiveness, and disease type (e.g. so-called life-saving drugs do demand a premium – Yay for the free market). In addition, companies have many ways to extend their patents. It is much harder to make a generic of a biologic than of a synthetic drug, which further adds to the price. My comment still stands, mAbs are expensive irrespective of whether they are on patent or generics.

              • Stunned Mullet

                Clearly you have an issue with me Incognito – that is your problem if you’re determined to ban me on some made up pretext please feel free

                (e.g. so-called life-saving drugs do demand a premium – Yay for the free market).

                Often this is the case but there are many notable exceptions, insulin is a life saving drug but is very cheap in NZ in comparison to example the newer anti cancer compounds which are often 'life prolongers'.

                Many of the very simple cardiovascular medications which could be considered life savers fo certain groups are extraordinarily cheap both before paint expires and after patent expires in comparison to many non life saving medications.

                It is much harder to make a generic of a biologic than of a synthetic drug, which further adds to the price.

                This is a reasonable assumption for simple pressed API immediate release tablets but is often not the case for complex release oral products or long acting injectable medicines.

                My comment still stands, mAbs are expensive irrespective of whether they are on patent or generics.

                In some case yes in some cases no – for example Rituximab which is now generic @ around $300 per month is pretty reasonable  – all depends what you are comparing it to.

                • Incognito

                  Let’s start with the constructive part of your comment, which was pleasingly well-informed, thank you.

                  Indeed, insulin is cheaper than, for example, some of the latest cancer immune therapy drugs that have recently come on the market. Of course, insulin has been around for yonks so this comparison is not entirely fair. In addition, for a proportion of cancer patients, these drugs are not just ‘life prolongers’ but potential life savers leading to complete responses.

                  Yes, you’re correct that I was only referring to the manufacture of the API, thanks.

                  In the case of Rituximab, the generic is indeed considerably cheaper than the original but still expensive IMO, thank you.


                  I think none of this is inconsistent with what I said:

                  However, this is relative and depends on demand, effectiveness, and disease type (e.g. so-called life-saving drugs do demand a premium – Yay for the free market). [with emphasis this time]

                  Now, for the first part of your comment, there is no pretext for banning you; you’re seeing or making an issue out of either something that isn’t there or mixing up things. The only issue I have, more with some than with others, is their online behaviour here on TS. It is not personal – I don’t know any of the commenters here from a bar of soap nor do I take things personal, unless they make personal insults to others or me.

                  I focus on behaviours that may have a negative influence on overall commentary here and/or create a bad environment that’s not conducive to what we like to achieve on this site. On the other hand, I don’t go around praising every single comment that falls on the other positive side of the ledger. This is why you usually see me taking issue with something (not somebody) when you see a comment of mine. Does this make sense?

  9. Adrian Thornton 9

    Is the US economy about to take a nose drive into hard concrete?  maybe so, as it looks like the Republican/Democratic bullshit bail out is not going to save them..

    Bailing Out the Bailout

    It will take years to sort through the details, but Trump’s $2 trillion COVID-19 response looks like a double-down on the last disaster


    Latest figures show 16 million people have now lost their jobs, with layoffs spreading across the economy


    • bill 9.1

      The corporate component of that bailout is US$400 billion +, that the Fed can leverage to US$4 trillion +.

      In other words, there will be a happy cohort of disaster capitalists making hay on various short selling or whatev's, also buying swathes of strategic assets at fire sale prices, precisely because of unprecedented levels of unemployment, bankruptcy and business failure.


  10. joe90 10

    Is this reactivating behind Singapore's second wave?


    The coronavirus may be “reactivating” in people who have been cured of the illness, according to Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    About 51 patients classed as having been cured in South Korea have tested positive again, the CDC said in a briefing on Monday. Rather than being infected again, the virus may have been reactivated in these people, given they tested positive again shortly after being released from quarantine, said Jeong Eun-kyeong, director-general of the Korean CDC.


    Fear of re-infection in recovered patients is also growing in China, where the virus first emerged last December, after reports that some tested positive again — and even died from the disease — after supposedly recovering and leaving hospital. There’s little understanding of why this happens, although some believe that the problem may lie in inconsistencies in test results.


    • Incognito 10.1

      One hypothesis could be that the immune system is primed after the first infection and goes in full overdrive upon the second infection. This could lead to the immune system attacking the infected tissue (cytokine storm) with greater ferocity and with fatal consequences. In the past, this has been a problem with developing vaccines against certain diseases. The immune system is a complex beast.

      • Treetop 10.1.1

        Mastcells and the release of histamine would play a part.

        Quercetin is a natural antihistamine. 

        A Dr Theoharides has done a lot of research in cytokine storm and mastcells.

    • bwaghorn 10.2

      Might be a good idea for the government to come up with a way to keep recovered people isolated for a while . 

      It's just become truly scary if this is true.

    • Barfly 10.3

      Does the Corona Virus share a trait of Herpes and the great Arnold  –   "I'll be back"

  11. joe90 11

    Tuskegee 2.0


  12. Andre 12

    Amanda Marcotte takes a look at Tinyfingers Twittertwat's attempts to rile up Berners in the wake of Bernie conceding the obvious and dropping out. Gonna be interesting watching how much traction the convergence moonbats that are more interested in sticking it to the libs and Dems than achieving actual progress get this time around compared to last time.


    • Morrissey 12.1

      Could you explain what a "convergence moonbat" is? And then could you explain how Biden is superior to Trump?

      By the way, Amanda Marcotte is about the least credible “journalist” in the U.S.


      NYT cancels Chapo from stupidpol

      • RedLogix 12.1.1

        "Biden is making morons of us all" …. Joe Rogan

      • Andre 12.1.2

        Convergence moonbats explained.

        I get it that apparently the media you consume mirrors the all-consuming hatred you feel of anyone that might be cognitively adaptable enough to win election  and actually achieve some progressive goals, so you never get spoon-fed any of the real differences between the realistic choices. To help you out, here's just a few bullet points.

        Biden wants to expand healthcare coverage to more people and lower costs to consumers. Tyrannosaurus Arse wants to take away coverage from poor people so he can put more money into his pockets.

        Biden accepts climate change science and wants to make changes to reduce climate change. Dayglo Swampzilla wants to help his fossil fuel robberbaron friends to continue polluting the world for as long as possible to put more money into their pockets.

        Biden's interests in foreign policy include considering how to improve the lives of people in foreign countries (even when that concern leads him into decisions with disastrous unintended consequences). Twitterfinger J. Putinpussy's interests in foreign policy don't extend any further than where he can put his name on hotels to put more money in his own pockets and his friends.

        Biden generally supports worker's rights, even if that support is feeble and patchy. The Fifth Avenue Fraud wants to strip worker protections and suppress wages, in order to put more money into his own pockets.

        Biden supports protecting natural areas and strengthening parks. America's Prolapsed Rectum just wants to shit all over them so his friends can extract more of the common wealth to put in their own pockets.

        That's just a tiny portion of the differences. You're welcome. But it would be really helpful if you could suppress just a tiny bit of your motivated reasoning and broaden your information sources to include at least a few that are grounded in reality.

        • observer

          The Supreme Court alone would be all the reason anybody needs.

          • Andre

            Yeah. That one thing is sufficient to explain why all the Repugs slurped down a load of Drano to dissolve their spines once it became clear in 2016 the genital-grabbing golem was going to win the nomination.

        • Morrissey

          I get it that apparently the media you consume…


          I read and listen to and read—not "consume"— all kinds of media. I read widely, and skeptically always. You are trying to portray me as something I'm not. You don't "get it" at all.

          Biden's interests in foreign policy include considering how to improve the lives of people in foreign countries (even when that concern leads him into decisions with disastrous unintended consequences). 

          "Unintended consequences". That's a good way to explain away his support for the destruction of Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Palestine (to name just a few) in order to “improve the lives of people in foreign countries".


          We get it. You've swallowed the Russiagate Kool-Aid. How did that Mueller Inquiry go?


        • Brigid

          So Joe Spidern 'supports' 'generally supports' 'accepts' and he 'wants to'.


          BYW isn't there a website that gives clever, amusing nicknames for Biden? You could use that too.

          Why is it a given the opposing candidate of the Murican Mugabe must not be a toady,  a sycophant,  and dripping in obsequiousness. 

          The DNC have selected Biden as their sacrificial old ewe and he will make a complete fool of himself in any debate with Thump. If they'd wanted the orangutan out they would have made sure Sanders got the nomination.

          • Andre

            If Bernie had made it to the Oval Office, I would have found it fascinating to watch the reaction of Bernie cultists as Bernie dealt with the choice of either achieving nothing whatsoever, or succumbing to having to make the same shitty compromises that everyone else in the position has to make.

            • Morrissey

              "Bernie cultists"? So the millions of people who supported him are a cult? Were they controlled by Russian masterminds like Trump was? Do they drink a kind of vodka-laced Kool-Aid?

              Luckily for the rest of humanity there are sane, rational people like you and Keith Olbermann to keep watch over those cultists.




              • Andre

                Not all Bernie's supporters are cultists. It seems only around 15% are.

                The remaining huge majority of his supporters are capable of maturely swallowing their disappointment that their first choice wasn't the choice of the majority, and go on to support the next best choice to achieve progress towards what is important to them.

    • bill 12.2

      If the left/progressives, those who saw Bernie Sanders as a political compromise, get their shit together and bring the streets to bear on Biden's campaign/platform, then they'll possibly achieve a lot of progress.

      That said, I suspect a fair few will simply walk away from US representative politics in disgust.

      Truth be told, Sanders not being President could turn out to be the best thing that happened to Progressive politics in the US in terms of achieving real world results.

      But for that to happen, Biden would have to be President, and well….

      • Ad 12.2.1

        All the main left activist groups have already united and sent a letter spelling out the demands they want to see Biden shift towards. 


        For which in return they promise to work tirelessly to get rid of Trump. 


        • bill

          Good to see people display some smarts 🙂

          I'll assume that US$100 million worth of effort is contingent on him coming to the party.

          The more I think about it, the more I'm thinking the DNC might have fucked up. They could have stymied a Sanders White House in a dozen different ways to Sunday. That, and Sander's support base would likely have pulled its collective punches if and when it came to holding his feet to the fire.

          But with Biden…

          Sanders just has to tread a line, and avoid going out there and overtly promoting any of Biden's problematic policies during a Presidential campaign.

          • Ad

            Biden is the "I'm not Sanders, I'm not Trump, I'm not…"

            But as a functioning palimpsest he's perfectly biddable, and has taken a lot of the Sanders and Warren direction already.

            It's not as if his heart

            "is an open book, "

            for all young Dems

            …. to write on.

            But if you can imagine Biden in a silky mauve diaphanous top, you'll get the idea ……



  13. ianmac 14

    I just went for a walk here in Blenheim. What fascinates me is the silence. Sunny calm day, very few cars, some family bikers and walkers and the deep quiet. I can hear a lawn mower about a block away and the monarch caterpillars chomping away on their leaves. I know everywhere must be quiet but this is amazing! And very pleasant.

    • Carolyn_Nth 14.1

      Yes.  I love the quiet.  Was just on my balcony listening to the birds chatter in a tree nearby.

      When the lock down ends, I guess the neighbours will have the guys back with the machines, building their half-finished rock wall – hope they finish it quickly.  Plus other neighbours in houses and flats recently sold doing some upgrades.

      We used to get a lot of dog walkers down our quiet street, but curiously, there's been few walkers since lock down – mostly only people in our street.  It maybe that many of the dog walkers were using a narrow walkway from another, busier street to cut through to our street.  But, the walkway is too narrow to allow people going in opposite directions and maintain the 2 meter distance….?

      • ianmac 14.2.1

        Thanks Joe. I wonder if Romans are pleased to not have tourists pounding the streets? I saw one ambulance two cars and one police car. It makes the city more beautiful but without people it is dreadfully like one of those apocalypse movies. Shudders.

    • mac1 14.3

      Yes, Ian, I hear the same silence! My neighbours talking on their patio, two magpies 100 metres away, twittering small birds, and a monarch fluttered by but I can't claim to have heard it! I see no traffic on SH1 and hear no grape harvesters. The vineyard guns are silent.

      Will our lives change because of this experience and how we live the rest of our lives? My wife stays at home every night of the week rather than three nights out. Me the same. We eat better, and more interestingly. Homegrown figs, home cooked   oat biscuits, ciabatta buns and oven-roasted beetroot and quinces. 

      I read that our dreams are more vivid and will affect our imagination more. 

      I have been phoning Grey Power members who are over 70 and who have no e-mail to be contacted by. They all sounded well and happy, looked after by family and friends. Their biggest concern was how to pay their sub without using KiwiBank cheques.

      I just wondered whether these wiser old folks, off-line and away from false news and scare-mongering, haven't got a deeper handle on what is worthwhile in living a good life.

      • ianmac 14.3.1

        We had 3 caterpillars, the first in years on our swan plant. I covered them with netting till they were fat then brought them inside to sit on the table with a few branches of swan plant as take-aways. I am sure I heard them munching. One took offence at being inside and did a runner. Next morning it turned up on my armchair. I put it back on the table so ungrateful little sod took off again. So I returned it back to the mother plant outside but now cannot find it.

        Can't hear it eating either so who knows?

        • mac1

          Some bird with a fuller puku, or maybe it's the one that did a fly-by here……..

          Just been singing a song by James Taylor on the patio as the sun goes down. The words go, "Well the sun is slowly sinking down, and the moon is slowly on the rise . So this old world  must still be spinning around. And I still love you." This to my partner who's been in my bubble for coming up 44 years!

          It’s been a good Friday.

    • alwyn 14.4

      "the monarch caterpillars chomping away on their leaves"

      Now that is truly impressive. I assume your hearing was good enough to hear that Holden that started up in Nelson at 5.27pm. Was it a 6 or an 8 cylinder? I heard it from over here in Wellington but my hearing isn't nearly as good as yours seems to be.

      • McFlock 14.4.1

        Dunno about catipillars, but some small things are louder than they look.

        Hedgehogs, for example. And whatever was having a domestic in my roof space the other night (I think rats, but I'm no Attenborough).

        • alwyn

          "Hedgehogs, for example".

          Indeed yes. I was amazed how noisy they were when I first had them appear in my garden. Such little things too.

          • McFlock

            Year ago when I was in security I was about to call for backup until the "prowler" in the bushes came scurrying out, about 5.5ft shorter than I expected. Narrowly escaped months of workplace ribbing for that one lol

      • In Vino 14.4.2

        Around here it is the paper wasps still chomping away on the Monarch caterpillars. They used to stop looking for food around this time, but there now appears to be a new, slightly different type..   Bad news for the Monarchs. Nice weather otherwise.

        • alwyn

          I really wish I hadn't read that. Monarch Butterflies are so beautiful and wasps so dreadful. I really would prefer to think that every Monarch caterpillar turned into a butterfly than to think of them being eaten up by bloody wasps.

          I don't think how nice lambs are when I eat a lamb roast of course.

  14. Morrissey 15

    A pitiless yet hilarious dissection of the likes of Bari Weiss, Amanda Marcotte, David Brooks

    On his light chat show, Jim Mora used to regularly quote the right wing New York Times opinionist David Brooks whenever he needed something, however intellectually threadbare, to provide some heft for his own complacent and reactionary views.

    There's some very funny and astute analysis of Amanda Marcotte's hopeless New York Times colleagues, esp. David Brooks, from the 51:00 mark….

  15. Herodotus 16

    At least our Auckland Harbour will be safe from encroachment !!

    Imagine if we had already bowed to the cruise industry and extended Queen's Wharf ??


  16. Andre 17

    Question for the tech geeks here.

    The old scam e-mail from the LinkedIn breach turned up in my inbox today. The "we know your password, we've hacked your webcam and have vids of you watching porn, pay us bitcoin" one. As it happens, I logged in to LinkedIn for the first time in quite a while a couple of weeks ago. I checked and HIBP sez my email and password were included in the breach.

    Is this just coincidence, or does this suggest the scammers still have malware planted on LinkedIn that lets them see LinkedIn's traffic?

    • bill 17.1

      🙂 Aw bugger! That was the very last of my decent coffee 🙁  Is that a public mea-culpa to neuter potential fallout?

  17. Carolyn_Nth 18

    2nd C-19 death announced – Christchurch woman transferred from Rest Home earlier in the week.

  18. Muttonbird 19

    Porky says:

    "After brief deliberation, the Taxpayers' Union board determined the welfare of our employees to be a more pressing immediate concern than ideological purity."

    Why can't the Taxdodger's Union both stick to their "ideological purity", and look after the welfare of their employees?

    They could do this by making the offer to pay back the $60,000 wage subsidy they have bludged from the government.

    Hypocrisy has scaled new heights!


    • Stunned mullet 19.1

      It will be interesting to see who claims the subsidy – there'll certainly be more than just this mob who are dubious recipients of the governments largesse on behalf of the public.

      • In Vino 19.1.1

        I think the Govt itself should make a claim. It is too big to fail, and could lose millions…

        • Stunned Mullet

          Shhhhhhhh… don't someone'll read that and we'll have all the political parties putting their hands out.

    • mac1 19.2

      The ideological purity lost out to pragmatism with the tax payers union. It is similar to discussions with fundamentalist bible expounders. Funny how biblical injunctions not to eat pork, or eat leavened bread at Passover, or eat shellfish have been overridden.

      We understand with modern science why we can eat these foods safely.

      These right wing purists just came up against new circumstances which made an ass of dogma. Good  on them for altering their views. I just hope that they will understand that inflexible thinking and ideology lead to dead ends.

      That welfarism, social cohesiveness, and even taxation can be creative, life-sustaining, and beneficial.

  19. joe90 20

    They're going to do it all again.

    • pat 20.1

      brain dead and possibly suicidal

    • joe90 20.2

      I checked and nope, not satire.

      Donald Trump paused his efforts around the growing coronavirus crisis to sign an executive order clearing the path for US to mine the moon for resources.

      According to documents released by the White House, the order rejects the 1979 global agreement known as the Moon Treaty which says any activity in space should conform with international law.

      "Americans should have the right to engage in commercial exploration, recovery, and use of resources in outer space," the order states.


      • bwaghorn 20.2.1

        Any planet /moon or asteroid should be split by giving countries the exact % of surface area as they have on earth ,in the same area as their country. It would save a lot of agro if we get that far . 

        This wouldnt stop non spacefaring nations from getting a share of the goodies they could just sell mining rights to their chunk. 

        • Robert Guyton

          And all of the "seas" on the moon, should be given to our planet's seas.

  20. bill 21

    Whoop! (From the US)

    The Transportation Security Administration screened 94,931 people on Wednesday, a drop of 96% from a year ago and the second straight day under 100,000.

    Historical daily numbers only go back so far, but the nation last averaged fewer than 100,000 passengers a day in 1954, according to figures from trade group Airlines for America.

  21. joe90 22

    Give me another week.

  22. Ovid 23

    I think this song is a silver lining from the lockdown.

  23. A 24

    I apologize for misleading people on this site.  I am now convinced the data errors around Covid-19 are completely flawed and apparently meant to deliberately mislead. 

    While I do not doubt some people are harmed, this is not even remotely close to the level that was projected.  We do not need a vaccine, nor do we need to continually monitor our borders.  Maintaining a reasonable health standard + the odd vitamin boost if we feel unwell should do it. 

    Here are a couple of many articles I have found that support this. 



    But the most damming is the evidence on the ground.  I point to the videos put out by Crowdsource The Truth/Jason Goodman from NYC.  At first I thought this guy is arrogant and crazy, but it turned out he was just being skeptical and for good reason.  The claims in the media that NYC is death central are obviously bullshit.  You can't watch this guys videos and draw any other conclusion.

    Then there are the photos used for different stories, in different countries.  Same photo.  A number of examples of this can be found. 

    We have all been duped. 

    If someone tells you that you or your family must have a Covid-19 vaccine for their own safety and that of the public tell them to go fuck themselves.

  24. pat 25

    "It is in fact more likely that the coronavirus death toll is much higher than the official figures suggest, rather than it being inflated. The CDC has acknowledged its count is an “underestimation” because it only tallies cases where Covid-19 has been confirmed in a laboratory test.

    Epidemiologists say a widespread lack of initial testing in the US means many people died without being counted, while even now some people who die at home or in nursing homes are not being tested for the virus.

    In New York City, more than 200 people are dying at home each day during the pandemic, according to city officials, a very much higher rate than usual. Bill de Blasio, New York City’s mayor, has estimated that about 100 to 200 people a day who die at home in the city are not being included in the official virus death count. But the federal government insists the overall figures are largely accurate."


  25. joe90 26


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