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Open mike 10/02/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 10th, 2011 - 51 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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Step right up to the mike…

51 comments on “Open mike 10/02/2011”

  1. Jenny 1

    Why do the protesters still demand that Mubarak leave the country before they leave Tahrir Square?

    The answer is simple

    To leave the square with Mubarak still in power will be to suffer detention and torture, and with tensions so high, probably deaths.

    The protesters are safe in the square for now. But are frightened to leave without victory, which could, literally “be fatal”.

    Under Mubarak’s rule all protests in Egypt are still illegal, and the consequences are very severe.

    The protesters are aware of security personal taking film of people’s faces. As has happened in the past, the police have used photos and video taken at protests to launch arrests of demonstrators.

    In the past disappearances and torture are the result.

    Already the protesters have identified over 40 of their number who have mysteriously gone “missing” and believed to be in detention, they cannot be sure how many others have been detained by the secret police.

    Human Rights Watch said Wednesday that Egyptian authorities have arbitrarily detained at least 119 people since January 28 and tortured them in at least five cases.

    CNN report

    • Marty G 1.1

      got your guest posts, jenny. just a matter of getting room in the schedule

    • Bored 1.2

      Jenny, good to see that the protesters are holding firm in Cairo. To back down now would be fatal, to quote St Just during the French Revolution “One does not make revolutions by halves.”

        • joe90 1.2.1.1

          Two weeks in and the western public and media appears to do exactly what the regime wants it to do, lose interest. Meanwhile the people are still fearful of Mubaraks axe weilders.

          • Jenny 1.2.1.1.1

            John Key says Mubarak should maintain his hold on power.

            The NZ Herald accuses “protesters” of being behind the attacks on journalists.

            I wonder if these prominent New Zealand supporters of Hosni Mubarak’s regime might change their tune, if they, like UK Journalist Robert Tait were blindfolded and held in an Egyptian torture centre by Mubarak’s police?

            28 hours in hell

            The sickening, rapid click-click-clicking of the electrocuting device sounded like an angry rattlesnake as it passed within inches of my face. Then came a scream of agony, followed by a pitiful whimpering from the handcuffed, blindfolded victim as the force of the shock propelled him across the floor.
            A hail of vicious punches and kicks rained down on the prone bodies next to me, creating loud thumps. The torturers screamed abuse all around me. Only later were their chilling words translated to me by an Arabic-speaking colleague: “In this hotel, there are only two items on the menu for those who don’t behave – electrocution and rape.”

            Cuffed and blindfolded, like my fellow detainees, I lay transfixed. My palms sweated and my heart raced. I felt myself shaking. Would it be my turn next? Or would my outsider status, conferred by holding a British passport, save me? I suspected – hoped – that it would be the latter and, thankfully, it was.

            Robert Tait

  2. logie97 2

    Debt.

    John Key has repeatedly stated that the level of debt is just too high and unmanageable. In fact he wants to sell publicly owned property to recover some of this debt.

    Then we understand that a very large amount of that debt is private debt. (not mine or most “Mums and Dads” mind you).

    So yesterday, we hear many institutions getting excited about the fact that the “plastic” is being used again and there are positive signs in the economy

    WTF.

  3. NickS 3

    http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/tax-benefits-heterosexual-only-former-mp-4020144

    And I see the zombie corpse of Christian Heritage still wont die, guess it’s time to roll out the hot pink Sodomobile and troll the hell out him.

    • One of my favourite “The Awful Truth” eposides. That and most of the others!

      • Tigger 3.1.1

        Imagine the furore if any other group was named here – if someone claimed Maori couples, disabled couples etc, shouldn’t get the credit. But we just wave these people off as harmless cranks.

        They’re not. They’re contributing to the ongoing hostile environment for gay men and lesbians. We remain still the only accepable group to disriminate against. If Key appeared in blackface he would be out of office. But pretend to be a poof mincing along the runway and it’s just good fun.

  4. Bored 4

    Out in blogsphere lives the prickly and usually anti social Cactus Kate. Occasionally she puts the prejudice aside and gets dispassionate, and produces a gem. As a right wing critic she can deliver a mean savaging, even of those in her camp. Today she has had a little deconstruct of the “special” position of farmers Highly recommended reading.

    http://asianinvasion2006.blogspot.com/

    • Bored 4.1

      PS I particularly like the epithets Fongterra and Federated Fuckwits.

    • D14 4.2

      I have thought for a while that farmers should insure against severe weather events. It could be like the earthquake and war damages levy home insurers pay.

      • Bored 4.2.1

        I use a minor technique (or wisdom) called retained earnings….at any moment there is around 6 months worth of operational cost retained from profit . On our real margins of c. 25% that means it takes 2 years of keeping the profits aside to get to this stage. Not so hard to do.

        The benefits for us are that we can ride out no income of 6 months and retain the skilled staff if we have no income (highly unlikely), have zero profit months when our market has issues etc. Best of all we can capitalise it at any moment should we wish to walk away. All the while it sits in the bank gathering interest.

        Farming is not so different, the buggers who spend it all on a good year need to fail.

    • vto 4.3

      Cactus Kate is on the right track for sure. It is an issue that has sat in NZ’s psyche for years and years. It is now however roaring further up the ladder as kiwis realise that the agriculture industry has completely and utterly wrecked pretty much every environment it has touched.

      Farmers need to be honest with the rest of NZ. They are quick to claim the positives (lots and lots of money yay yay). But they refuse to accept the negatives (ruined rivers and waterways and biodiversity and bush etc). They need to man up and front the free lunch they have been having.

      Do you think they ever will? I suspect it will take a generational shift to get there. For older farmers I know it is a subject best left well alone if you want to have a normal and reasonable conversation otherwise they go red in the face and explode with indignation. Very childish their approach.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.1

        Farmers need to be honest with the rest of NZ.

        Actually, I think it’s time that the rest of NZ got honest with the farmers and told them, in no uncertain terms, that we’re just not going to take their shit any more.

    • Colonial Viper 4.4

      Now I am waiting for all you’se positive comments about her blog entry below that one, entitled “Never work with children or animals”.

      • Bored 4.4.1

        Saw that and was not so impressed…hence my comments about her. However credit where credit is due.

  5. Olwyn 5

    Some of you might be interested in this; it is the Archbishop of Canterbury on why prisoners should not be denied the vote. The fact that such thoughts no longer get oxygen here shows how far our debate has drifted from the perspective of a civil society. Even a left wing defender with a public voice would be hard put to express this view without qualification.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/feb/09/archbishop-canterbury-votes-for-prisoners

  6. prism 6

    A 14 year old girl has been exhumed in Bangladesh. She had died from loss of blood from wounds. But according to local medical report she nothing was observable. What a cover up, what acceptance of foul repression by vicious fundamentalist village leaders. She actually was lashed to death because of an alleged relationship with a married man.

    So extreme cruelty is not as bad as an appearance of not showing extreme purity of obeisance to rigidly controlled social behaviour. (And a false or exaggerated accusation is enough to start the juggernaut of anger, blame, shaming and severe injury or death-dealing reaction.) This was carried out on the say-so of village elders. These vicious old sh..ts are extreme dictators and as bad as any of the mythical monsters.

    We should give her a minute of silence, and think in that time of all the vulnerable humans, female and male now in our world, who are unable to have a full and happy life because of cruel ideologies and psycopathic desire for power.

    • Bill 6.2

      I don’t know that village leaders are necessarily vicious fundamentalists. Neither do they necessarily have a psychopathic desire for power.

      And patriarchy…the foundation for the attitudes that lead to such actions … isn’t so much a cruel ideology as a fucked up reality.

      So yeah. A minutes silence. To contemplate our complicity in the maintainence and perpetuation of multiple and varied expressions of patriarchy.

  7. prism 7

    Why aren’t the vicious repeat offenders that we in NZ have found guilty and imprisoned, not kept in prison for their whole lives? The idea that someone with multiple severe crimes is going to come out of ‘Corrections’ as a reformed person whose worst crime with be j’walking or doing 70 in a 50 km zone is ludicrous. At present we are exposed to these warped and dangerous personalities over and over again and the costs of sadness and then of the justice system once, twice, three… times again.

    I am against the present willingness to imprison that our stupid governments have imposed with large numbers locked away. Also the lack of ‘correction’ that is carried out which should be started immediately on entry to prison in retraining and self-revelation with goal setting and future-planning courses, and of course assistance with overcoming drug addiction. But when it comes to the dark unreachable minds of vicious warped men or women, the measurement of their depth of badness reinforced by a second, third… vicious or unprincipled crime, then keep them in for good, no parole. They can not be helped, they have gone too far along their road.

    For killing of children by carers, the problem may be that the instigator is not deeply bad but inadequate at dealing with the strife that children can get into and the demands that child-care can make on an adult. To prevent this, there should be more involvement by the Health Department in assisting, teaching methods of care and psychology for new parents, for carers etc and a family benefit paid out for those who take part. Money is a very useful carrot when it comes to cash-strapped people and not very much can arouse their interest. The wealthy are capable of bad treatment of their children but in their case cash help might not be so effective.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      You did address some aspects of this but there needs to be a real focus on working with young children and ensuring they have positive environments where they can develop good social attitudes to others and also have all their own basic needs met. Parenting skills play an important role. No, not all parents can be helped or want to be helped. But those who do should have access to all the training and guidance that they want.

      By the time someone is in the dock looking at their first maximum security prison sentence its pretty much game over.

      Need the interventions to start happening much much earlier.

      In general, I agree with you. We are putting far too many people away as a society, but there is a much smaller proportion of people who probably need permanent custodial sentences and are not getting them.

      • ianmac 7.1.1

        It is great that Sensible Sentencing Trust (Trust?) is not getting air time, but I wonder why they are so quiet? Not because their cause was really anti-Labour – surely not?

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    Quote of the day: George Monbiot on the under-reported tax break that Cameron is giving the banks, whom have not too recently been bailed out after nearly breaking the economy.

    I’ve realised that injustice of the kind described in this column is not a perversion of the system; it is the system.

    http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2011/02/07/a-corporate-coup-detat/#more-1329

  9. Oscar 9

    Money for Prisons, but none for the people

    This has to be one of the most anger inducing articles I’ve read in a while. Private prison bidders should take the risk if governments are going to change. Why the hell should we be compensating them if their bids don’t go ahead?

    Quite aside from the fact that last night when watching the news, I had the strongest compulsion ever to shoot Double Dipton right between the eyes like I do with my sick cattle, this is yet another example of this horrendous government taking money from the many and giving to the few.

    captcha: Mad.

    Damn right it is!

    • Anne 9.2

      ” … I had the strongest compulsion ever to shoot Double Dipton right between the eyes…”

      Don’t worry Oscar you’re in good company. Btw, while you’re about it could you include Key, Brownlee, Nick S, Crusher, Basher, and Chopper etc? Much obliged. 😀

      [Oscar, Anne, I’d rather we didn’t even joke about shooting public figures. Thanks. — r0b]

      • Carol 9.2.1

        Hmmm…. I share the abhorence of English & co, but resorting to violence, even as a metaphor, is playing into the Sarah Palin approach.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.2

        Perhaps throwing rotten eggs, like the pensioner protestor did at the Anglo Irish Bank shareholder meeting, would be more permissible 😀

        • prism 9.2.2.1

          Yes that was a good egg all right CV. Beautifully planned, simple, homely and effective. Only an egg and an ego were damaged in the making of this protest!

      • NickS 9.2.3

        Why exactly am I included in that sorry little list of yours? Especially as I, or they, haven’t done anything that merits that level of moronic violence and violation of basic human rights.

        And I’m too disturbed my this to actually nut out via words just how disturbed I am by it…

        • Colonial Viper 9.2.3.1

          Holy shit, the Rt Hon Nick Smith is posting on The Standard?!

          • NickS 9.2.3.1.1

            lawl…

            I didn’t think of that, but then, without the “Smith” it becomes an very wide name.

            It’s still fucking disturbing though.

            • KJT 9.2.3.1.1.1

              I don’t believe in the death penalty. Even for traitors.

              A long jail term is wholly appropriate for those who are attempting an even bigger theft than the 19890’s Labour party managed to pull off.
              I am puzzled how National party caucus members can sleep at night.
              Steal $1000 from people of NZ you get two years jail. Steal billions you get a knighthood.

              • Colonial Viper

                Singapore does a good job with the rattan cane. And I believe there is a role for stocks in the public square once more.

                Give the elite thievers a bit of face time with the ordinary public they stole from I say.

        • Anne 9.2.3.2

          Apols. NickS. It was meant to be Nick Smith – to differentiate from Lockwood Smith.

          And my comment was posted in the most light hearted of manner – as CV seems to have appreciated.

      • Bored 9.2.4

        rOb, Robespierre might have justified this proposed course of action as the “despotism of liberty against tyranny”. Tyranny is no joke.

  10. NickS 10

    Settlement Reached By Woman Fired For Facebook Posts

    So it’s in the US, but I hope there’s a chance the concept underlying this settlement can be imported into NZ.

  11. Lanthanide 11

    lprent, stumbled across this site that ranks NZ websites by optimisation and loading time. The standard comes out as having the largest home page at 4.3megs and slowest complete loading time in their test at 35.5 seconds (no doubt due to the size).

    You should have a look through this and see if there are any easy low-hanging fruit you can pick off to get this down; could save quite a bit on the bandwidth usage.

    http://www.projectx.co.nz/2010/12/full-results-home-page-hall-of-shame-dec-2010/

    • lprent 11.1

      I’m distinctly aware of the front page.

      That particular measurement wasn’t what I look normally look at when optimizing the front page. Because it was Webpagetest.org time first load time (same for the download). The site is actually optimized for subsequent reads because it tells the browser to cache all of the images, CSS, and javascript for quite some time.

      The reason for the size is pretty obvious and therefore first time load speed is slow. There are a hell of a lot of graphics on the front page.
      We display about a weeks worth of posts on the front page (30 post excepts) – each with their own wee graphic of varying sizes (anything from 4k to 30k). There are the hulking great big adverts that we get no say over size for. Then there are all of the service graphics on the side – again these are mostly externally sourced.

      It is also slower than most of the other sites because our server is located offshore – mostly to make it hard for anyone to maliciously try to shut us down.

      Subsequent views on a page if the browser caching is on are somewhere around 40k if the ads don’t change on refresh. Thats why it doesn’t feel slow unless the server is getting stressed.

      Try this. Load the front page. Go to the bottom and click older entries (probably slow). Then hit the standard logo at the top. The page will typically pause for a couple of seconds while it heads to the US for the page. It will then do about 70 queries for elements on that page. Most of those connections will respond with “use your cached version”. Then the page will rapidly appear because there isn’t that much to actually update. The worst is the external ads and the external site counters javascript – which is pretty damn sluggish.

      Its a trade off between presentation (ie the dinky little graphics on each post excerpt) and speed and server load. I think that we got it pretty good overall. But it is slow on the front page for the first time. The per post thumbnails requires it.

      But it is a lot faster on the actual post pages where search engine queries usually hit because the post loads first and the gravators load later. It is also fast for anyone who goes back and forth between posts and the front page because the graphics are cached on your machine.

  12. prism 12

    Who is this prosy Cameron Brewer telling Len Brown what to do? The political world in Auckland seems full of preachy know-alls. Is he grooming himself to step into Jamie Lee Ross shoes (sounds female but isn’t is it?) if he/she wins Botany and can’t keep up the rapier sharp critique of everything that other people do.

  13. Colonial Viper 13

    Oz tax paying NZ’ers left high and dry in Oz

    Yep, this is how you treat your foreign workforce. Now the rose tinted glasses have come off.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10705367

    Expat New Zealanders hit by Tropical Cyclone Yasi have joined a growing number of disaster victims denied recovery payments by the Australian Government.

    The decision to deny Kiwi cyclone victims an Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment has been justified under the same legislation used to stop the payment to thousands caught in the Queensland floods last month.

    It categorises all New Zealanders who arrived in Australia after February 26, 2001 as non-protected Visa holders, making them ineligible for many social security payments.

  14. logie97 14

    Just before you turn in for the night…

    A haircut

    One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut. After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, ‘I cannot accept money from you, I’m doing community service this week.’ The florist was pleased and left the shop. When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a ‘thank you’ card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

    Later, a policeman came in for a haircut, and when he tried to pay his bill, the barber again replied, ‘I cannot accept money from you, I’m doing community service this week.’ The cop was happy and left the shop. The next morning when the barber went to open up, there were a ‘thank you’ card and a dozen doughnuts waiting for him at his door.

    Then a Member of Parliament came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill, the barber again replied, ‘I can not accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.’ The Member of Parliament was very happy and left the shop. The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen other Members of Parliament lined up waiting for a free haircut.

    And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the citizens of our country and the politicians who run it.

    BOTH, POLITICIANS  AND  NAPPIES
        NEED TO BE CHANGED OFTEN
                             AND
            FOR THE SAME REASON!

    Good night.

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  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    5 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    5 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    6 days ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    7 days ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    7 days ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
    I am a member of the working poor and so still need state welfare to make rent. So I had booked an appointment for yesterday with my caseworker at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) to apply for a transition to work grant. However the current health advice in New ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • A good first step
    Today the government announced a financial package to deal with the effects of the pandemic. So far, it looks good: an initial $500 million for health to deal with immediate priorities, wage subsidies for affected businesses, $585 a week from WINZ for people self-isolating who can't work from home, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: COVID-19 Alert Level 4
    The COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is moving fast - and to avoid what we've seen overseas - the Government's response must be to move fast too. We're committed to keeping New Zealanders safe and well-informed every step of the way. ...
    10 hours ago
  • SPEECH: Green Party Co-leader James Shaw – Ministerial statement on State of National Emergency an...
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  The scale of what we face right now is unlike anything we have ever seen before. Overcoming it is our common purpose. ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters urging New Zealanders overseas to stay put
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging New Zealanders overseas to stay where they are amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are.” "This includes following the instructions ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealanders overseas encouraged to shelter in place
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging the tens of thousands of New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider sheltering in place, in light of COVID-19.  “Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying ...
    4 days ago
  • Ground-breaking abortion law passes, giving NZers compassionate healthcare
    Ground-breaking law has passed that will decriminalise abortion and ensure women and pregnant people seeking abortions have compassionate healthcare. ...
    1 week ago
  • Package supports Kiwis to put collective health first
    The Green Party says that the measures announced by the Government today will help families and businesses to prioritise our collective health and wellbeing in the response to COVID-19. ...
    1 week ago
  • Winston Peters: COVID-19 rescue package ‘more significant’ than any worldwide
    As New Zealanders brace for a global downturn due to Covid-19, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says his Coalition Government’s rescue package "more significant" than any other he's seen around the world. The Coalition is to reveal a multi-billion-dollar stimulus plan on Tuesday afternoon designed to cushion the economic blow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our response to COVID-19
    We know some people are feeling anxious about COVID-19. While the situation is serious, New Zealand has a world-class health system and we’re well-prepared to keep New Zealanders safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Demerit Points System’ will address youth crime
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill drawn from the ballot today seeks to overhaul the youth justice system by instigating a system of demerit points for offences committed by young offenders. “The ‘Youth Justice Demerit Point System’ will put an end to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in kingfish farming
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $6 million in a land-based aquaculture pilot to see whether yellowtail kingfish can be commercially farmed in Northland, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. A recirculating land-based aquaculture system will be built and operated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1BT grants for Northland planting
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Forestry Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced two One Billion Trees programme grants of more than $1.18 million to help hapu and iwi in Northland restore whenua and moana. “Many communities around Aotearoa have benefited from One Billion Trees funding since the programme was launched ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand reaffirms support for Flight MH17 judicial process
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahead of the start of the criminal trial in the Netherlands on 9 March, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has reaffirmed the need to establish truth, accountability and justice for the downing of Flight MH17 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF investment in green hydrogen
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister The Government is investing $19.9 million through the Provincial Growth Fund in a game-changing hydrogen energy facility in South Taranaki, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The development of alternative energy initiatives like this one is vital for the Taranaki region’s economy. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coronavirus support for Pacific
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Minister for Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand is partnering with countries in the Pacific to ensure they are prepared for, and able to respond to the global threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19). “There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party passes landmark law to ensure deaf and disabled voices heard equally in democracy
    Chlöe Swarbrick's Members Bill to support disabled general election candidates has passed into law. ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
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  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
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  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
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  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
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  • Govt announces aviation relief package
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