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Open mike 11/08/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 11th, 2020 - 77 comments
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77 comments on “Open mike 11/08/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Communists vs capitalist: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-53718901

    He was born in Guangzhou, a city in southern China, to a wealthy family that lost everything when the communists took power in 1949. He was 12 years old when he fled his village in mainland China, arriving in Hong Kong as a stowaway on a fishing boat.

    Like a number of the city’s famed tycoons, he went from a menial role, toiling in a Hong Kong sweatshop, to founding a multi-million dollar empire. From working odd jobs and knitting in a small clothing shop he taught himself English, eventually founding the international clothing brand Giordano. The chain was a huge success.

    But when in 1989 China sent in tanks to crush pro-democracy protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, Mr Lai began a new journey as a vocal democracy activist as well as an entrepreneur. He started writing columns criticising the massacre that followed the demonstrations in Beijing and established a publishing house that went on to become one of Hong Kong's most influential.

    In recent years masked attackers have firebombed Mr Lai’s house and company headquarters. The 71-year-old has also been the target of an assassination plot. His arrest on Monday is the highest-profile use of the national security law imposed on the territory by Beijing in June.

    So we await the regime's decision of whether to take him to China for trial or leave prosecution to the HK govt. If they make the latter choice we may still get some media exposure of the court case – but it may be censored.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      China is not communist. We know this because it is not democratic.

      Democracy is an essential part of communism. Workers controlling businesses can only be done through democracy and it goes upwards from there to the city and nation state.

      China is, presently, anti-democratic.

      But, then, so is capitalism – the boss doesn't want the workers telling him what to do but is certainly of the opinion that the workers should do what he tells them.

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        China is not communist

        But his political opponents are, and the regime requires total control of the people.

        Lai also wrote an op-ed in the New York Times in May stating that China was repressing Hong Kong with the legislation. “I have always thought I might one day be sent to jail for my publications or for my calls for democracy in Hong Kong,” Lai wrote. “But for a few tweets, and because they are said to threaten the national security of mighty China?

        Yes, because the regime is threatened by exercise of the right of free speech. Communists have always been big on using state control to eliminate human rights.

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/300079006/owner-of-a-hong-kong-newspaper-thats-often-critical-of-chinas-communist-party-government-arrested-under-new-security-law

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          Communists have always been big on using state control to eliminate human rights.

          No they haven't. People who called themselves communists have. There's a difference.

          Democracy, human rights – these things are essential to communism. If a nation or a person denies them then they are not communist.

          • Stuart Munro 1.1.1.1.1

            Quite right – totalitarian might be a better term – those states that like ancient Persia required submission of their subjects.

          • Dennis Frank 1.1.1.1.2

            Hmm. You seem to be using communism as if it were an ideal rather than a state practice. Stuart likewise. Viewed as a belief system, that's valid.

            In realpolitik though, people apply the label on the basis of practical utility (if it walks like a duck etc). So my usage reflects standard political practice.

            Reminds me when I was at uni the Trots, Leninists, Stalinists & Maoists were engaged in four-way sectarian competition over which group were the real communists…

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.2.1

              The ideal is the measuring stick. If standard practice doesn't meet the measure in any way, shape or form but calls itself communist then it is obviously misrepresenting itself.

              Your usage is empowering people to misrepresent themselves.

              • Dennis Frank

                People actually empower themselves via misrepresentation: that's the human condition. Why women wear lipstick. Why Labour folk describe themselves as progressive.

                The root of this behaviour lies deep within nature itself. Biologists have documented deceit strategies and tactics in many species.

                • Incognito

                  Women wearing lipstick is a deceit strategy!? What Wikipedia page did you get that from?

                  • Dennis Frank

                    I didn't write that. Both deceit and misrepresentation derive from the same behavioural root, obviously. Think of it as a survival strategy. Haven't you kept up with evolutionary psychology? Since Robert Wright authored The Moral Animal there's been about a quarter-century of follow-through by many contributors.

                    • Incognito

                      I didn’t write that.

                      O’kay, and Judith Collins is not the Leader of the National Party.

                      Of course, it was Pat McGrath who wrote it first.

                      Beats Wikipedia hands down.

            • Stuart Munro 1.1.1.1.2.2

              We realise Dennis, that you reject the content of Communism en bloc, so of course the distinction between states that practiced it to any degree, and those who only pretended to do so is not important to you. But that is as valid as including the DPRK in a discussion of democracy simply because they use the name in the title of their state.

              • Dennis Frank

                Tbh, Stuart, I'm unaware that any states ever actualised the ideal of communism. Which inclines me to view the ideal as unattainable in practice due to being contrary to human nature. I agree that the ideal seems appealing, in a nebulous way, since I was born an extreme idealist and had to grow a pragmatic side to my character so as to become successful in this society.

                • RedLogix

                  I'm far less sanguine Dennis; communists are every bit as 'out of bounds' as are fascists in my book. In the 20th century there were at least six major attempts to implement communist states and each one was a genocidal failure.

                  People who say that the 'wrong people were in charge' are really just saying that if they had been running the show it would have all turned out good. Which is an delusional conceit, a wet mess of naive idealism, deep intellectual dishonesty and obdurate denial.

                  The left needs to draw a line under this horribly failed idea called marxism and commit to never doing it again.

                • Stuart Munro

                  To the extent that Communism might have been achievable, much of that had to do with the states claiming to be pursuing it, without putting much effort into doing so. As such it is part of a long tradition of similar attempts at improving government virtue, from Confucianism through Christianity, and Gandhi’s reforms, to the current attempts to form an Islamic state.

                  Throughout his later life Confucius was pursued by leaders of states for his imprimatur, but had to abandon them as they failed to live up to the ideals they had signed up for. The unprincipled behaviour of these rulers did not invalidate the principles that Confucius had derived, and, but for a certain inconsistency in his writings, the same is true of Marx.

                  Where communism fails is in its inability to deal with internal failures. In a democracy, the individual is sovereign, and anything that affects them is a legitimate ground to access the representative process (though of course in practice NZ MPs will simply ignore anything that might conceivably reflect badly upon them or their party or require them to get off their spotty bottoms and do anything).

                  Communism, by contrast, reposes sovereignty in the Party, which promptly claims to be ineffable. When a problem occurs therefore, like an oil light coming on in one's car, democracy in principle fixes it, while communism accuses the oil light of political unreliability, being a refusenik or a saboteur or whatever, until the whole system suffers a catastrophic failure and seizes up.

                  One should not lay the determination of the Kim dynasty to be God kings entirely on the dark side of communism's ledger however. Their existence has as much or more to do with the retreat of Japan and the geopolitical interests of neighbouring states as anything Marx or his successors wrote.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Communism, by contrast, reposes sovereignty in the Party, which promptly claims to be ineffable.

                    That sounds remarkably like the US:

                    Washington, a thin-skinned chief executive, only decided to stay on for a second term to prevent his lieutenants from, as he feared, splitting the country into two parties. To him, political parties spelled disunion.

                    and

                    To suppress the challenge of a second party, Washington’s successor, Federalist John Adams, signed into law the Alien and Sedition Acts, making it a federal crime to criticize the president or his administration’s policies.

                    and

                    In his turn, when Jefferson became president he instituted what later became known as the spoils system. With his idea of even-handedness, he dismantled the Federalist Party. He fired half of all federal officeholders, the top half. He kept Federalists only in low-level clerical, postal and customs service jobs. Jefferson effectively deprived the Federalists of any chance of rebuilding a power base by excluding them not only from the federal payroll but from political and administrative experience. The Federalists never won another election. Their party died.

                    Over time the US realised that they couldn't get rid of political parties but their system is such that they can only have two. This is a problem in that most voices aren't heard.

                    Perhaps what we need is everyone belonging to a political party where they have a say on the policies that that party puts forward. But then we'd need a system which allowed for each party to be able to have at least one representative in parliament.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      The irony had not escaped me. But at least formally, the individual's franchise remains determinate in Trumpistan.

                • Pat

                  Both communism and capitalism are idealistic and both operate with a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature….communism could operate in a world entirely populated by cooperative individuals and capitalism in a world of competitors…neither world exists…we live in a world of degrees and compromise.

                  As long as it lasts

                  • Stuart Munro

                    I'm not especially keen on trials of communism per se, I just don't like to see it blamed for flaws that arise from other causes. Marx's solution wasn't particularly good, and the likes of Marcuse did not improve it. But Marx did elucidate the issues of unfairness that come with unregulated capital.

                    The acceptability of capitalism is a function of how well regulated it is. NZ's housing crisis is an instance of failure to regulate, and it has unhomed and impoverished a substantial proportion of our population. This must necessarily concern any party or parties that pretend to govern it or us.

      • JohnSelway 1.1.2

        China is considered state-capitalism as far as I am aware

      • Byd0nz 1.1.3

        Completely agree. I would be inclined to support a pro workers Democracy movement in China/Hong Kong, but certainly not a rightwing privaliged student/ rightwing media based one like the current HK protests. This is Capitalist infighting, certainly nothing to do with the working class.

      • Tricledrown 1.1.4

        Communism is as much a failure as pure capitalism you can't fight Nature where greed is an inbuilt survival instinct where the Strongest survive .

        Communism is just a word for utopic ideology where no one is supposed to compete .

        Capitalism is the winner takes all monopoly

        [Fixed typo in user name]

        • Incognito 1.1.4.1

          [Fixed typo in user name]

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.4.2

          That's just it – greed isn't an inbuilt survival instinct.

          In fact, it is greed that destroys societies and it is working together that brought us to the top of the food chain.

          Do you really want to try and survive in the wilderness by yourself? No fangs, no teeth, no claws, weaker per body weight than any other animal?

          If we were actually catering to our natural instincts we wouldn't have capitalism because our natural instincts tell us to work together.

  2. ScottGN 2

    Judith Collins’s husband, David Wong-Tung is threatening to sue Newsroom for defamation.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/wong-tung-threatens-to-sue-newsroom

    • Gabby 2.1

      A shame judges can't order remedial reading lessons.

    • Anne 2.2

      I know of the "QC" who is acting on behalf of David Wong-Tung.

      My family had a brief experience of her some years ago. She also wrote a letter on behalf of an estranged relative which contained falsehoods and threatening language if her client didn't get his way. She came across to me as one of those lawyers who uses professional bullying tactics in order to win her cases. Truth and fair play seem not to be part of her playbook.

      Not uncommon among some lawyers I know.

  3. NZJester 3

    Looks like back stabbings and leaks about the internal turmoil are still coming out of the National Party. The hopes they had of putting the crusher in charge to stem the leaks has not worked for them. The news around the selection of its candidate for the Auckland Central seat point to a party still at war within itself. I hope this helps some current blue seats turn red.

    https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/national/out-of-controversy-a-candidate/ar-BB17N91z

    • I Feel Love 3.1

      That's the thing, Collins isn't in charge, as well as saying "I'm not the leader of the National Party" (wtf???), a few weeks back when asked had she forced everyone in the party to stop leaking, she said no, she just told them if they want to win, stop leaking. She's a pathetic & weak boss.

  4. RedLogix 4

    When the dust finally settles on the COVID crisis, I think one of the aspects that will stand out will be that nations with health systems that are properly integrated with a unified governance model, and have strong medical leadership, will generally do better than those that don't.

    It seems that it is no accident that Victoria is the state which is struggling at the moment.

    In other words, for all the daily briefings and public health orders, the Victorian government simply had no apparatus to actually handle the crisis. The cogs were not connected. It is like a mechanic giving a long and impassioned speech about how your car ought to run only for you to pop the bonnet and discover it has no engine.

    A close friend of ours has worked in the health system there all her life. She daily tells us of the contradictions and disconnects she constantly encounters. Poorly implemented procedures and PPE are her biggest gripe. To the extent that from Queensland we are posting down to her N95 masks we can buy off the shelf in Bunnings here, but she cannot access through her employer. All a bit weird really.

    Yet at the same time it will be researchers and innovators who will eventually break the back of this crisis, people working with data and evidence who will unlock the secrets and change our thinking.

    As an engineer I'm struck by this pandemic as a good example of how our systems need to strike a balance between sufficiently integrated and unified to deal effectively with a crisis, while at the same time the components of it need to adapt and evolve to deal with novel challenges in the environment. This constant tug of war between the need for stability and adaptability is a fundamental feature of our existence, and lies at the heart of our political systems. We might do well to keep this essential frame in mind more often.

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    If you were watching the AM show this morning around 8.20am, you would have seen the Justice Minister concluding his interview on the cannabis referendum by responding to a question about his personal experience.

    "Well, it pretty much always fell off the back of a truck for me." "Actually, the last time was when I'd just qualified as a lawyer. There were lawyers, QCs and a judge all there and they were passing around a joint."

    Duncan quickly moved on. The notion that pillars of the legal establishment might be that enlightened must have spooked him, though he covered it well. Amanda & Mark likewise avoided the implication. Vital to keep up false pretences.

  6. PaddyOT 6

    The dominance of National party news and images in Stuff and the Herald leaves you wondering if these outfits are unbiased or actually are Natz alternate facebook.
    Trite shite-
    "National leader Judith Collins has been speaking to about 200 people at the Lake Taupo Yacht Club. Journalist Matt Bowen has sent through some of the main points:

    The RMA would go of if National get in power. “We made a critical mistake of embracing a piece of legislation that is all about stopping people doing things rather than getting them done.”
    NZ would not be awash with methamphetamine and gangs if National get in power. “We need to take it seriously and we are.”

    On light rail in Auckland. “It’s very light. It will never happen. It’s a mirage.”
    On if Labour teams up with the greens following the election: “The greens say tax is love, well I have had too much love over the years.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300078917/live-jacinda-ardern-judith-collins-hit-the-election-trail?cid=app-android

  7. Sam 7

    I don't think that we should be pandering to marginalised people, I think we should do it because there's something that they can't do in the market place.

    [I don’t know which marginalised people you mean, but some of your comments aren’t making a lot of sense and you’re now on my radar as a mod. If you are new here, please read the Policy, and have a think about what you are doing before you comment again. I’m not going to let people troll my posts – weka]

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

    • weka 7.1

      mod note for you.

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        Is that censorship weka? Gabby doesn’t make a lot of sense often.

        • Incognito 7.1.1.1

          Nope

        • Tricledrown 7.1.1.2

          Woodhouse lying again can't front media Collins has to make excuses for her strong team.

          Homeless man returning from Melbourne had to stay in quarantine.

          Collins on the back foot trying to look tough .

          How many cars did she crush

          Tough on gangs when she was minister not. National cut police numbers by 800.

          Key was going to wipe out the scourge of P. Not even.

      • The Al1en 7.1.2

        Not new it would appear.

        Open mike 09/04/2020

        "He now seems to think that he can return here from his self-imposed exile with a blatant troll comment.

        Sam is wrong about that.

        Banned for a year so that we can all recover from the pandemic and prepare for the election without having to endure his inane troll comments that create more work for Moderators – Incognito]"

        • weka 7.1.2.1

          I don't have time to check if it's the same Sam, But his comments are close enough to trolling that I’m dropping him into the blacklist until I have time to look at what is going on (later in the day).

        • Incognito 7.1.2.2

          Nope, different Sam AFAIK. The other one is still commenting on the TDB and full of praise of TS. \sarc

          The current Sam may want to read the TS Policy; it might save us all some time …

          • The Al1en 7.1.2.2.1

            Reads the same to me. Different ip and/or email – going by the avatart change, but there's certainly a very similar style and post habit going on. Should be an easy deduction going on from here if it is the same person.

            • Incognito 7.1.2.2.1.1

              I have no evidence so I won’t take immediate action. If they’re indeed the same then it won’t take long …

              • The Al1en

                I'm sure it won't, and it wouldn't be the first time the banned Sam posted after an enforced time out with a different gravitar. I recall you extending the one from April for another six months at the beginning of May.

        • CoralSea 7.1.2.3

          What’s wrong with opposing views and free speech? Why does Sam scare you so much? If you don’t agree with him can’t you just ignore him?

          [lprent: I’d point out that speech isn’t free here – nor anywhere else. It costs money and time to provide a venue like this.
          Speech here is controlled by our policy, the legal structure we’re in and our moderators who are trying to maintain a robust debate within those bounds.
          A first comment simply attacking another commenter with a pigfucker question doesn’t help robust debate. It just raises question about how much of a troll you are. I’d suggest reading the policy. ]

  8. greywarshark 8

    A lot of Radionz texts this morning in favour of charging people coming back to NZ pointing out the often disregarded fact that they want to come back here because it is the best place to be in the world during Covid-19 even though we are reasonably poor country.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/423224/kiwis-overseas-unhappy-about-unfair-managed-isolation-charges

    But they had the money and opportunity to leave which has costed for travel etc. and now there is another cost that has to be covered. Life does not unroll with roses spread in your way and everything you wish arriving on a tray – for most of us. Sometimes things will not be just as you wish. That is all!

    Another right-wing group on Facebook! Calling themselves The Team of Six Million is lobbying for the Me Generation. People like this want to turn us into a copy of those countries with fabulously rich top and a large middle class, but a large group of people in grinding poverty and stuck there as an eternally indentured class.

    They haven't heard those forecasts about the disappearance of the middle class going on in the world. We are in a new millenium, toddling forward uneasily, dragging our teddies behind us. We haven't the money, so we have to think is the idea from a famous New Zealander who helped science along, but was it good for us in the long run? Now we have to think harder.

    • Stuart Munro 8.1

      They're a very mixed group – my cousin is in it. A lot of stranded folk, or those with disrupted travel alongside the entitled ones.

    • roblogic 8.2

      Agree grey. It's too much

    • indiana 8.3

      I think the government should stop charging Tax to these people, if these returning citizens are currently non-resident tax payers.

    • Tricledrown 8.4

      Playing into the rights agenda.

      Our people overseas are facing unemployment most likely homelessness.

      To charge them to come home would be inhumane.

      [Corrected a different typo in user name]

  9. Sam 9

    Yeah, there are research costs, this going to take time. What are you trying to do here? solve everything all in one go?

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

  10. I hear on the radio that National will "create a new group to tackle gangs"

    A new "Red Squad?"
    Strike Force Raptor?

    Raids mentioned as the modus operandi.

    No new ideas yet.. just churning out old failed divisive stuff.

    • PaddyOT 10.1

      National party's shite on the big issues vs the Others published.
      Election 2020 – SMC science Q&A with political parties

      National can't focus on answering the questions and keeps poking at that useless Labour lot as their solution.
      *Smash gangs
      * punish youth ( standing in a yacht club)
      * our mental health programs really worked
      * provide analysis on how we reduce emissions ( because we haven't read the plethora already there)
      * don't know- concept black out on support ethnic and gender diversity in the research sector
      * address Matauranga Maori…um.. through our partnership schools. didn't read yesterday's news on achievement in private schools.
      * cannabis no
      *Fresh water – Auckland Auckland the .No shit sherlock..duh..response
      "Auckland needs considerable investment in properly separating stormwater and sewage to clean up streams " .
      * Pests- We know about science.. we might try some now.
      * Biosecurity- vigilence is needed to stop decimating agricultural industries. Yeah we were so vigilant in July 2017 with our action on m.bovis. And Labour is f#king up the Covid border plan again.Probably going to utilise Chris Penks book, Labour’s particular form of lockdown lunacy”, arguing it was too harsh and was unnecessarily extended.
      * smoking and vaping.. Labour's dawdling. Perhaps we need an associate minister of health like Dunne to ' speed' them up.

      https://www.sciencemediacentre.co.nz/2020/08/11/election-2020-qa/

  11. joe90 11

    Of course, a landslide.

    /

    According to preliminary results announced by Belarus' Central Election Commission, Lukashenko took 80% of the vote, with Tikhanovskaya coming in second with 10%. But Tikhanovskaya disputed those figures. She said that her campaign staff had seen results from more than 50 polling stations and that her share of the vote exceeded Lukashenko's by many times.

    https://www.npr.org/2020/08/10/900903506/belarus-elections-end-with-landslide-winner-and-massive-protests

    • AB 13.1

      Stopped when I read "Nationwide House Arrest" in the first paragraph. Anything with such a cartoonish understanding of the notions of freedom, consent and collective action isn't worth the time.

      • I Feel Love 13.1.1

        thanks for parsing AB, indeed. "Freeeeeeeeedom!!!!"

      • greywarshark 13.1.2

        AB agree I limit the number of daft things I read. The future is a serious matter, freedom is something to conserve and it comes in different modes to be narrowed or widened as appropriate.

      • DS 13.1.3

        FFS, it was a tongue-in-cheek exaggeration. The article is in favour of the Government measures.

        • AB 13.1.3.1

          OK – sorry for being unnecessarily rude. But if sticking one's tongue in one's cheek means un-ironically using the language of libertarian nutters, it might be worth reconsidering.

    • Pat 13.2

      Its a conversation thats rather pointless when it relies on an imaginary situation….when (or if) there is a vaccine and its efficacy is known then an informed discussion can take place.

      Anything prior is mere speculation

  12. I Feel Love 14

    Just saw a report on NBC Night News about the Navajo Nation "Flattening the curve", how they're doing better because they are following science and experts, no big social gatherings,curfews, 100% mask compliance. Another angle https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/watch-how-the-navajo-nation-rallies-to-support-its-community-in-the-face-of-covid-19/ar-BB17NgR9?li=BBnbcA1

    Compared to the 250,000+ motorcycle dickheads converging on South Dakota. What is it with Americans and their absolutely massive social distancing! I was just waiting in line at the bank, I think NZrs naturally socially distance, no one wants to be in anyone elses space.

  13. Dr Bloomfield is the people's hero

  14. PaddyOT 16

    Judith still on the campaign trail using we can do it better on border control.

    Paul Henry says in Herald today

    Henry said he was happy to be back in New Zealand and praised the workers managing the isolation facilities.

    "New Zealand's lovely, just arriving back, the whole system is just a well-oiled machine. The people involved it in are spectacular."

    The 60-year-old called the process "absolutely faultless".https://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=12355635
    Yet another paywall on Labour info today.

    Suck on that lemon !

    • greywarshark 17.1

      Some Sun Tzu quotes on how to approach Australian politicians.

      Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

      Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.

      The art of war is of vital importance to the state. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

      https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/sun_tzu_717950

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