Open mike 11/09/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 11th, 2022 - 74 comments
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For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step up to the mike …

74 comments on “Open mike 11/09/2022 ”

  1. Stuart Munro 1

    There has apparently been an official call for Putin to resign.

    The more Russia makes use of its constitutional apparatus, the better, I suspect.

    • Jenny are we there yet 1.1

      “The arc of history may be long but it bends towards justice”

      Martin Luther King

      The dismissal of the evidence of atrocities committed by the Russian Federation invading forces as false flag operations committed by the Ukrainians themselves to discredit Russia. Or were faked by crisis actors. Is par for course for the blood thirsty partisan supporters of Putin's war against Ukraine.

      But what I find most amazing about the pro-Putin trolls, is their continual assertion against all evidence that Russia is winning this war.

      But the long arc of history may be shortening and the Russian military collapse may be quicker than even the most optimistic military predictions.

      Ukraine retakes Russian-controlled cities and supply hubs in a swift eastern push

      By Nicholas Slayton | PUBLISHED SEP 10, 2022 2:00 PM

      Russia is pulling its forces back from several towns in Ukraine's east as Ukraine's counteroffensive made major gains in the Kharkiv region. Ukrainian troops retook multiple towns and captured the cities of Izvum and Balakliva, according to local reports and the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. In a rare admission of things going poorly for its forces, the Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed soldiers had left those areas and announced it will regroup its forces today….

      https://taskandpurpose.com/news/ukraine-retakes-cities-near-kharkiv/

      • Francesca 1.1.1

        "Filtration " about to start

        "Collaboration "with the Russians extends to helping distribute humanitarian aid it seems

        State police say a “reckoning” is coming for pro-Russian residents of “de-occupied” town

        Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) announced on Friday that it had begun conducting a “filtration” of civilians in Balakleya, the town in Kharkov Region reportedly taken by forces of the Kiev government. SBI agents will be checking for those who “may pose a threat to national security,” the agency said.

        In line with the assassinations of officials within pro Russian areas who are suspected of being pro Russian .

        Applaud this as much as you like, I think it points to a deeply divided country which won't be cured by war.You can kill all the Russians within Ukraine I suppose, but even that genocide won't solve the problems of Ukraine.

      • mikesh 1.1.2

        But what I find most amazing about the pro-Putin trolls, is their continual assertion against all evidence that Russia is winning this war.

        Not coming from a military background, I consider myself unqualified to comment on how the war is going, preferring instead to focus on what I believe to be the causes of the conflict. The question of who will win I leave to future historians.

      • mikesh 1.1.3

        “The arc of history may be long but it bends towards justice”

        Words. And though words may stir up the emotions, that's all they do. Words are cheap, but not necessarily true.

      • mikesh 1.1.4

        What do we lack that becoming a republic might change?

        • mikesh 1.1.4.1

          Sorry. This comment was not intended as a reply to someone’s earlier comment, but should have been an independent comment at the end of the post. I don't why this has happened.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.2

      Well….putin being a psychopath….similarities to his besty trump…so obvious (but with more vicious violence) there could very well be an extremely violent reaction from him.

      I really hope no more innocent people are killed.

      An ongoing tragedy….

    • Blazer 1.3

      That video with the thumbs up poster seems a tiny bit suspect…don't you think?

      The 'dialogue with the wife an easy ..construct.

      • Stuart Munro 1.3.1

        So you think phone intercepts will all be critical masterpieces?

        Things are going fairly poorly for Russian troops, with many surrounded and obliged to surrender, and others fleeing under artillery fire. The intercepts show something of their human side.

        a tiny bit suspect?

        Well if you're uncritical enough to prefer RT, these are probably too good for you.

        • Blazer 1.3.1.1

          RT is banned in the 'land of the free'.

          • Stuart Munro 1.3.1.1.1

            I should think so – it is the organ of an enemy state, one that practices every political vice known to humankind from genocide to rape as a weapon of war, and it poses a real danger of duping the hard-of-thinking.

            • mikesh 1.3.1.1.1.1

              By crikey, you've really got it it bad, this Russophobia.

              • Stuart Munro

                Ok fuck off.

                Russia is a mess. It's been a mess for quite some time, and it has got worse recently under Putin. Nevertheless it professes to be a democracy.

                Let it actually follow its own constitutional provisions and it will free itself from nostalgic fools like Putin.

                And RT is a serious threat – people like yourself have been suborned by it. Hostile propaganda is not privileged speech.

                • mikesh

                  Things seem to have been going downhill in Russia since Gorbachev dismantled the Warsaw Pact and tried to introduce perestroika and glasnost. Then Yeltsin took over, dismantled the Soviet system, and tried to americanise the economy, at which point things became a real mess and Yeltsin took to drink. At that point it was thought that Russia was 'finished' as a world power. However the economy and living conditions seem to have improved in Russia with the rise of Putin, first as PM and later as President. Certainly, he has done things that seem pretty brutal, but he is a pragmatist, and one who tackles problems head on.

                  By the the way, i never watch RT.

                • mikesh

                  PS: Boris Yeltsin has expressed a belief that he made a mistake in appointing Putin PM. He knew that because Bill Clinton, when he met Yeltsin later during an official visit to Moscow, told him so.

                • Bill Drees

                  It is disappointing that after all this time many on the left feel uncomfortable with criticising Russia. It suggests to me that some of us lefties either have weak foundation to our values or that some of us with a Marxist Leninist bent are now warm towards fascism.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    I think it goes back to schooling. NZ does not teach history. Educated Americans all know about the European Spring, and the values it was about. The Putin dupes do not understand the importance of such values, and so are easy prey for manipulative entities like RT and the various Trumpist channels.

            • Blazer 1.3.1.1.1.2

              Did you think it unusual re this 'intercept' that the Russian soldier and his wife were having a conversation in….. English? wink

              • Stuart Munro

                I certainly find it unusual that you cannot hear the Russian that the poster is providing live text translation of.

                You need to do a little better, if retaining even a shred of credibility is important to you.

                • Blazer

                  True except…can you rely on either the credibility of the' intercept'..or the translation,from a clearly anti russian advocate?

                  • Stuart Munro

                    I have a little Russian.

                    Ukrainians don't need to make anything up in respect of Russian morale – their recent territorial gains speak for themselves.

                    Of course, you are ignoring the reason I posted it, which was that Russian deputies called for Putin's resignation. This is normal enough for opposition parties (and braying media hacks for that matter) in New Zealand, but in Russia it's asking to be kicked to death in a dark alley – unless the opinion is almost universally held.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Even a worthless clown like you must have some idea of what happens when a state has total control of polling sources.

                    Lukashenko supposedly got 80% support in his last election, but independent polls put his support at 3%. The nationwide street protests following his 'election' were only suppressed with the help of Russian troops.

                    Do you find it rewarding singing the praises of murderers and tyrants? If so what in the name of absent gods are you doing on a left wing site?

  2. Ad 2

    What's the latest on the Auckland mayoral race?

    Is the rumour correct that Beck is fading but Brown is closing tight against Collins?

    • Jack 2.1

      I suspect you are right Ad. Although I’d hope there will be a poll out this week to assist the majority of Auckland who don’t want Collins know who we are best to get behind.

      • tc 2.1.1

        Brown being close is a sad state of affairs given his track record of self service and division.

        Lots need doing in a city that looks constantly under repair not destroyed.

    • weka 2.2

      Dunno, but Marcus Lush has stepped into provide some local colour for the Invercargill mayoral election.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    I am calling Russia to be strategically defeated in Ukraine now.

    Here is a good summary of the stunning Ukrainian counter-offensive.. Though, later reports I have seen suggest that Ukraine has progressed considerably further since this video.

    In an incredible few days the Ukrainian forces have liberated most of the Kharkiv Oblast, and captured and cut off critical road and rail supply routes in K'upyansk for the Russian forces in the east.

    I am calling the Russians to have strategically lost the war now, with the result just a matter of time.

    In what must be one of the most brilliant war strategies of modern times, the Ukrainians simultaneously lured Russian forces to reinforce the Kherson Oblast then isolated them by cutting supply routes and bridges to the area. The Ukrainians are performing a slow squeeze in this region at the moment, with the Russians slowly running out of fuel and ammunition.

    But the brilliant part of the strategy was that it was entirely predictable where the Russians would draw forces from to reinforce the Kherson region.

    The Ukrainians had been publicly announcing for weeks their intention of a counter-offensive towards Kherson. The Russians either had to accept losing the region or reinforce it. Predictably they chose the latter option. The Russians were never going to draw their forces away from the Luhansk/Donetsk region due to the strategic importance of those regions to them, and that they still were trying to take over that whole area.Thus, the only real option for the Russians was to redeploy troops from the Kharkiv region.

    During the Kherson offensive, the Ukrainians had been quietly building up their forces in the Kharkiv region. Due to that area being so sparsely defended due to the Russian redeployment, the Ukrainians have swept through and taken Kupyansk, and also the Russian stronghold of Izium.

    This has resulted in a complete routing of the Russians in the area, and a huge transfer of military assets and ammunition to the Ukrainians.

    I am calling the Russians defeated now because it is going to be very difficult for them to keep their troops in the east supplied. And those in Kherson are cut off, and defeat is inevitable now. Plus there is a huge snowball effect in favour of the Ukrainians now. The loss of Russian equipment is largely resulting in a transfer of this weaponary to the Ukrainians. So, the Ukrainians continue to get stronger and stronger as the Russians get weaker.

  4. Joe90 4

    An interesting piece on lock-downs.

    Tl,dr; the only certainty is that countries that locked down hard and fast did much better in terms of health and the economy.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-02823-4

    • Nic the NZer 4.1

      I think that has been very obvious for a while, but with the slight caveat that income supplement was necessary to achieve that economic outcome. NZs scheme was #1 for discretionary stimulus in the world and our economic outcome followed from that combination.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 4.2

      Thanks Joe90 – a big rat for 'Covid Plan B' to swallow. Hope it hits them where it hurts.

      One lesson that Klimek takes from lockdown studies is that there was an early window of opportunity when the virus could have been eliminated — as it was, in effect, in countries such as China, Australia and New Zealand. Had harsher measures been adopted sooner, and more widely, the pandemic might have played out very differently. “I think this is the big learning that we need to take away,” he says.

      Lockdowns hold another clear lesson: they exacerbate inequalities that already exist in society. Those already living in poverty and insecurity are hit hardest. Guarding against these unequal impacts requires improved health access and financial safeguards when times are good.

      And transparency is key, too: the public needs to know more about how pandemic-control policies are decided, says Tsai. “That makes public-health policymaking seem less capricious,” he says, “because it’s reactive to both the science and values.

      • Belladonna 4.2.1

        Had harsher measures been adopted sooner, and more widely, the pandemic might have played out very differently.

        What harsher measures do you think the researcher envisages?

        NZ and Australia were (and are) island nations – where it is possible to restrict border crossings – and, indeed, close the border completely – just by refusing permission for planes to land. They are also relatively wealthy countries, with a developed social support system – which supports people being able to survive without work. None of that is true for countries like India, Peru and Kenya – or even the US. Lockdowns are just not practicable or even possible in those socio-geographic environments.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 4.2.1.1

          What harsher measures do you think the researcher envisages?

          Maybe greater restrictions on freedom of movement, as per China?

          The author mentions repeatedly that (remote) island nations have an advantage.

          It’s about trade-offs – a pandemic balancing act. Imho, NZ got the balance roughly right – others less so. Analyses will be on-going, much like the pandemic.

    • AB 4.3

      Watch this news disappear without trace (or never appear) in legacy media as the history of the pandemic is re-written to make it sound like the NZ response was a disaster and that National were right all along.

    • A very interesting article indeed. But I don't take the same message that you did.

      To me they seem to be saying that this is not a clear-cut cost/benefit analysis – and that there is lots of competing data (including that fact, that absent a time machine, we can't ever exactly evaluate the path-not-taken).

      There are costs, other than economic, associated with lockdowns. Which are, in any case, only as effective as the population are willing to tolerate (as we saw in the 2021 Auckland one, and the article discusses in Peru).

      Also, subsequent hard lockdowns became increasingly ineffective (how much that is related to lockdown tolerance, and how much to a virus evolving to become more contagious, isn't clear).

      The final 2 paras, I agree with unequivocally

      Lockdowns hold another clear lesson: they exacerbate inequalities that already exist in society. Those already living in poverty and insecurity are hit hardest. Guarding against these unequal impacts requires improved health access and financial safeguards when times are good.

      And transparency is key, too: the public needs to know more about how pandemic-control policies are decided, says Tsai. “That makes public-health policymaking seem less capricious,” he says, “because it’s reactive to both the science and values.”

  5. Adrian 5

    From the evidence so far of Russian armaments deficiencies it wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of the nuke delivery systems failed catastrophically, or just exploded in the bunkers. I hope we don’t find out. Already though, the decades of fear and anxiety over the abilities of the Russian Bear has proven to be wasted emotion.

  6. Ad 6

    A tad frustrating when Stuff's reporter is clearly more exercised by the name of a criminal gang in the middle of town, than the fact that a criminal gang is openly operating in the middle of town.

    The police, an offensive flag, and a new gang chapter's racially charged name | Stuff.co.nz

    • Robert Guyton 6.1

      Is "black" not also "racially charged"?

      White Supremist critics baulk at the colour reference.

    • Gives a lot more support to the political desire to ban gang patches (and symbolism) altogether.

      Expect National to make hay by coming out strongly condemning this decision by the Classifications Office.

      And, it seems a strange decision. To draw a parallel: You can read a book about the history of the US Civil War which may feature pictures of the Confederate Flag – but choosing to fly one (regardless of your motivation – honouring a family member, for example) is a completely different action.

      • Hanswurst 6.2.1

        The decision seems pretty spot on (and rather obvious) to me. How can you argue that a term is inherently offensive, when it's being used affirmatively by those whom it is presumed to demean? The police would have to mount a much better case than, 'Look… everyone in their right mind knows it is offensive, so it just is, OK?', and the attempt to get the flag labelled as an offensive publication looks very much like a desperate sleight of hand to make their job easier.

  7. Graeme 7

    Nitrate levels in Canterbury water have reached / exceeded MAV and Councils are having to grapple with what to do about it.

    The council warned users of the Lower Waihao and Waikakahi East Rural Water Schemes not to drink the water or give it to petson August 6, saying nitrate rates were “nearing” the 50mg/L maximum acceptable value (MAV) for drinking water. By the following day, chief executive Stuart Duncan said nitrate levels had exceeded the MAV, measuring 51.3 mg/L of nitrate.

    Unfortunately removing nitrates from drinking water isn't easy, or cheap. There's also large amounts of rather toxic byproducts from the process that have to be disposed of, which again isn't easy or cheap. So the numbers get very large very quickly.

    Selwyn District Council commissioned a report from global infrastructure consultants Beca which was presented to the council in late 2021, and paints a bleak – and costly – picture of the council’s options.

    The report says if all Selwyn’s plants were treated “retrofit costs could be in the order of $322million” – almost five times the district’s annual rate take – with ongoing annual operating costs of $25.6m.

    Price tags for three different sized water treatment plants are presented in the report. Construction costs range from $19.5m for a large plant, $10.4m for a medium plant, and $6.31m for a small scheme.

    Annual operating costs run from more than $2.5m a year for a large plant to $360,000 a year to treat a smaller scheme.

    The water schemes concerned are smaller, rural, or rural servicing communities so the costs will fall very close to the farms that are source of the nitrates. Going to be very interesting how the discussion develops around who pays some very expensive infrastructure serving some quite small communities, and the ongoing viability of those communities.

  8. observer 9

    Queen's funeral is Monday 19th. A public holiday in the UK and Australia.

    I expect it will be one in NZ too, though I'd love to hear Jacinda trolling the Nats by saying "after hearing recent representations from the opposition and business lobbyists, I have accepted their argument that another public holiday at this time would be an unacceptable cost."

    Then watch National have civil war between ardent monarchists and capitalists.

    Won't happen, but would be fun.

    • Won't happen because the NZ public would ignore all of the dig-at-National subtext, and just blame Ardern for being mean-spirited.

      Labour is perceived (rightly or wrongly) as the party of the republicans. Not a very popular position to occupy today – though in a couple of years things may well be different.

      • Muttonbird 9.1.1

        Are they? I think you are inventing stuff there. That's ok, but are you old enough to remember the flag referendum debacle, brought to you by the NZ grifter, one Jong Kee?

        • Belladonna 9.1.1.1

          I am indeed. Though I don't recall Key ever declaring that the flag referendum was the first move into Republicanism.

          Are you old enough to remember Helen Clark ditching the knighthoods – which was a massively unpopular move even within her own party (how many Labour MPs up to and including Mallard, have made it very clear that they want to be called 'Sir' or 'Dame')

          And various Labour leaders since, declaring that they are Republicans

          Labour leader Andrew Little, a republican, was hopeful of change earlier than Mr Key had forecast and said he would like to be the Prime Minister that led the debate.

          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/nz-a-republic-not-in-my-lifetime-key-predicts/NUGD4XFKSNNTG6V2JG53RKHQ4U/

          Jacinda Ardern believes New Zealand will become a republic within her lifetime.

          The Prime Minister says she thinks Kiwis will ditch the monarchy and become a republic in the next few years, but added that she "never sensed urgency" from people in New Zealand to make it happen.
          “I’ve been very clear that despite being a republican, I’m not of the view that in the here-and-now in my term of office, that this is something New Zealanders feel particularly strongly about,” Ardern said.

          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/jacinda-ardern-believes-new-zealand-will-become-a-republic-in-her-lifetime/362XBOZCWKWZMIVGFDMLNF2RZM/

          I don't think that there is much doubt that the Labour Party (or at least the leaders) are Republican. However, being also practical politicians, they don't see this as a ditch worth dying in. And the flag referendum showed that poking a stick at this bear isn't worth the trouble.

          • Muttonbird 9.1.1.1.1

            None have made stronger moves toward republicanism than the National Party with Keys' failed flag referendum, cosmetic only according to some! Key himself is a strong americanophile with delusions of presidency, no matter his murmurings in public.

            While Key left young Kiwis' travel and visa access to the UK dying embers in the grate, Jacinda Ardern's government has worked hard to rekindle those important connections. She has made no mention of her government starting a debate on the topic.

            Yet it is the Labour Party pushing for Repupirikana o Aotearoa, apparently!

            • Belladonna 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Individual leaders of the Labour party for the last 20 years have made no secret of the fact that they are personally republican – though they recognize that the rest of NZ isn't ready yet to make a change.

              I linked to various quoted statements.

              Of course, Labour is perceived as a Republican party.

              Now, if you can come back with a rebuttal showing that Key, English, Luxon, etc are also Republicans, based on their quotes (rather than some form of mind-reading)…..

              And, in any case, based on the rest of your comments, I should have thought that you'd be delighted that Labour are seen as Republicans!

              • Muttonbird

                Perceived by who, you? That's projection.

                I'll say it again, the only concrete move away from the commonwealth and monarchy was the $26m flag referendum run but the National Party. It is they and ACT who are perceived as republican parties.

                Grant Robertson today is considering a day off for mourning, while David Seymour is adamantly opposed.

                • Still waiting for the links to Republican opinions from the right-wing leaders……

                  And a link giving a summary of the republican views of NZ political party leaders…. pretty much supporting what I said.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republicanism_in_New_Zealand#Labour

                  I think any projection, here, is coming from you.

                  • Muttonbird

                    Useful link re-enforcing there is no republicanism movement in the Labour Party any more than in the National Party.

                    Keys thinks it inevitable, Bolger wanted it done by 2001, then in that year a National Party taskforce recommended a referendum be held when the Queen dies. I expect that referendum will happen when if National ever forms a government again.

                    Former National Party MP Winston Peters wants two referenda on this.

                    Simple truth is, you have sprayed a reckon here as you are inclined to do. Problem is, it not true and the case made since is flimsy at best.

                    • Still waiting for the links.

                      I'm sure, given your assertion that the National Party is a hotbed of Republicanism, you'll easily be able to find them…../sarc/

                      And, really, describing Winston Peters as a 'former National Party MP' – is total desperation. He's far more recently been the Deputy Prime Minister in a Labour/NZF coalition government!

                    • Muttonbird

                      I'm not saying that. I'm pushing back on your claim the Labour Party is a hotbed of Republicanism. You invented this.

                      Fact is, there is no real push by any party for change…

                      …except for John Keys flag debacle which was the only active move in that direction.

                      It’s ok to be wrong.

                    • lprent []

                      It is more that the idea of being a republic would be great if only it was really like a monarchy. Without actual professional politicians and the screaming lunatics like Trump involved. I have no particular liking for a monarchy. However I do find having a head of state with mainly moral persuasion and entrusted with the control of reserve legal powers that we want to keep away from politicians like military, police, courts, and the core bureaucracy a very useful fiction.

                      This has nothing to do with the personalities of whoever holds the Crown. It has a whole lot to do with making the use of crown powers by idiots and egotists in cabinet tenuous. A judge appointed by the crown can and will often put their duty to the crown and the body of law above that to the current minister or even parliament. The military will argue against stupid operations because their obligation is to protecting the crown and its subjects – not the cabinet ministers trying to use the organisation inappropriately.

                      Of course we do get some blowbacks the other way for instance only the isolation of the police from common sense and the political process could have caused the police in their foolhardy Urewera raids in 2007 – and their facesaving and silly prosecutions subsequently.

                      On the whole I find the fictions of monarchy preferable to what I have seen of the actual process of republics – most of which were modelled on antique political pretensions that should have died with Rome.

                    • Still no links.
                      I've stated an opinion. "Labour is perceived (rightly or wrongly) as the party of the republicans." And backed it up with evidence.

                      You've stated a counter opinion – and refused to provide any links or other evidence. Either that Labour leaders are monarchist, or that National leaders are republican.

                      I know who's spraying around the reckons, here.

                      And, in any case, I still don't see why you have your knickers in a twist over this. From your other comments, surely you think it's a good thing that Labour is Republican!

    • Anne 9.2

      What Ardern could do is say:

      ",,, despite representation by the Opposition that another public holiday is unacceptable, we have decided that it is appropriate to mark the death of a much loved Queen Elizabeth II and the inauguration of King Charles III with a public holiday…"

      Lets face it if the boot was on the other foot, that is exactly the kind of misrepresentation we could expect from the Nats. 😉

  9. Finn McCool 11

    Michael Laws has been called out by Guy Hatchard to debate on 'excess all-cause deaths' in NZ. Laws has basically called Hatchard a nutter. I doubt Laws will debate. He knows he'd lose his cool quickly as evidenced when he debated Joe Karam. Laws had Karam bundled up against the studio wall at one stage while pointing his finger and talking into Karam's face.

    https://dailytelegraph.co.nz/news/guy-hatchard-what-should-matter-in-journalism/

  10. weka 12

    Don't know why this came up today, but this series of tweets about people protesting Trump is superb 😂

    https://twitter.com/math_sonnets/status/1568575681453346818

    https://twitter.com/MDayne/status/1568715825334616064

  11. pat 13

    "The country's water services could be privately managed under the Three Waters shake-up despite the Government's commitment against privatisation.

    The reforms would allow services to be contracted out – a practice critics describe as "de facto privatisation".

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018858368/three-waters-shake-up-could-still-see-water-privately-managed

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