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Open mike 11/12/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 11th, 2021 - 303 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

303 comments on “Open mike 11/12/2021 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Our first hydrogen truck – the Hyundai XCIENT: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/nz-gets-its-first-hydrogen-truck

    New Zealand is only the third country outside Korea and Switzerland to get its hands on the XCIENT. The trucks use fuel cells which convert hydrogen to electricity that drives an electric motor. They are commonly referred to as FCEV’s.

    XCIENTs will use Hiringa’s refuelling stations planned for South Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton (the so called golden triangle) and Palmerston North.

    Ryan McDonald, Hiringa’s head of new business, says the hydrogen will be made in situ at the four stations and it will be ‘green’.

    “We plan to close-couple the stations directly to a renewable source. We have the technology to make sure the electrons going in are green. If the grid starts to get ‘dirty’ (if high demand means generation from non-renewables is brought on-line) we can turn the electrolysers off in about three seconds.

    Hyundai NZ’s Sinclair says Switzerland has blazed a path this country can follow.

    The South Korean manufacturer joined forces with a consortium of 25 Swiss companies to operate 45 XCIENT FCEVs delivering freight throughout the compact European country. After 11 months of operation the fleet saved more than 631 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

    Switzerland has eight hydrogen refuelling stations running down the centre of the country and the green hydrogen is produced at a run of river hydroelectric power station in the north-west.

    Hyundai will deliver another 150 trucks to the Swiss consortium in 2022 and is aiming to have 1600 on the road by 2025.

    The key to the commercial viability of operating FCEVs in Switzerland lies with the Heavy Goods Vehicle tax which is waived for trucks with zero emissions.

    • Ad 1.1

      No major company is going to wholesale change their haulage or work fleet unless clients are prepared to pay for the extra costs incurred from the massive capital outlay. That’s the case at our place and we’re one of the biggest.

      • bwaghorn 1.1.1

        Gee wouldnt it be nice if any carbon tax levied was used to finance actual real world reductions instead of being chucked in the doomed ets,

        • Ad 1.1.1.1

          The Greens are going to solve our total climate response … sometime after Budget 2022. No idea why they have the portfolio when they are utterly useless.

          • Dennis Frank 1.1.1.1.1

            No idea

            Presuming you aren't seeking to ask the PM why she decided that, I'll just note that the vital thing for Labour is to manage voter perceptions sufficiently well.

            Performance therefore becomes relative to that. Delivery is relative to that. Provided the impression that the govt is suitably engaged with managing climate change policy embeds in the public mind, Ardern will be satisfied.

          • Robert Guyton 1.1.1.1.2

            A Labour minister holding that portfolio would have done…what?

      • Molly 1.1.2

        Not a major company, but my partner's employer is a transport company with a fifty plus fleet that started transitioning from ICE a few years back. Fully carbon neutral by 2025, on the book carbon neutral since 2020. Customers informed, even if they are not environmentally proactive themselves.

        Toll have started with some contractors running electric trucks, and Mainfreight seem to be considering transition options.

        Long term cost reductions offset initial outlay. Your company is indicative of decision makers maintaining status quo as that is what they know. And how they are rewarded.

      • RedLogix 1.1.3

        What will drive the transition will be the sudden fracturing of supply chains in the ICE space. It's impossible to predict exactly which items will be first impacted, but the AdBlue shortage is an example to consider.

        Whether it's a fuel supply crisis, or spare parts, or legislative changes in customer jurisdictions, or just people no longer wanting to train on technology they know are about to become obsolete – the ICE pinch point is probably a lot closer than your organisation imagines.

    • RedLogix 1.2

      Yes. I follow developments in this space pretty closely and this is very typical of a dramatically changing energy landscape.

      It will take a most of this decade to make the transition but it's well on the way. The general trend is for lithium batteries to start at the small end (e-bikes and cars) and for hydrogen to start at the big end (heavy vehicles and remote generation) and for them to migrate toward the centre.

      There are good engineering reasons why this is so. The lithium pathway is more efficient, but it fast runs into weight constraints as it scales. Hydrogen is much less efficient and somewhat more capital intensive, but works best as high scale as the storage losses become less significant. For the foreseeable future we will need both networks to achieve electrification of transport.

      (Ignore the shills who set the two systems up in competition – they complement each other.)

      • Dennis Frank 1.2.1

        complement

        Good to see both/and logic at work. Integration is a way to transcend any apparent binary. I like your notion of different economic forces creating progress at the upper & lower reaches of the market.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Gordon Campbell on defence & doomsday:

    According to the New Zealand Defence Assessment 2021 report released on Wednesday, and set out in bold type: “The establishment of a military base or dual-use facility in the Pacific by a state that does not share New Zealand’s values and security interests” would be regarded by us “as [being] among the most threatening potential developments“ in the region. Wow, that’s telling them.

    And why pray, is New Zealand portraying any action along those lines by our main trading partner in such Doomsday terms? Allegedly, this kind of development would fundamentally alter the strategic balance of the region.

    Alongside admitting that its recommended course of action is already increasing the risk of an accidental (or intentional) war between China and US-led coalition of forces in the Pacific, the report suggests that a lot of the lower level competition will actually be played out in a so-called “grey zone” This is portrayed as a “space between peace and war that spans co-operation, competition, confrontation and conflict.”

    The idea that shades of grey exist in a black & white world is truly subversive. The military are sending us a signal that they have transcended the binary!

    Countries carrying out grey zone operations are said to be seeking “to create or exploit uncertainty, which can shape others’ perceptions around risks of escalation. including thresholds for armed conflict.” A new Cold War, but the same as the old one – only with the Soviets swapped over for China.

    No, Gordon, you just don't get it yet. Not a cold war, something rather lukewarm. Not binary – you yourself already noted the regional alignments formed by Japan, Phillipines, Vietnam, etc intermediary betwixt the binary powers. Do try to form the big picture accurately.

    the defence posture being promoted by the centre-left government of Jacinda Ardern has far less scope for independence than the one advocated by the Helen Clark government.

    Gordy's rationale is that Helen relied on the UN whereas Jacinda discounts it. Fair enough. Most folk nowadays get that the UN isn't much use for anything beyond peacekeeping and sometimes can't even cope with that. Ignoring the UN is therefore realpolitik and sensible for our foreign policy.

    Last year, David Scott, an analyst with the NATO Defence College Foundation at the EastWest Center in Hawaii, wrote a useful brief article about how and when New Zealand stopped referring to the “Asia-Pacific” region in its diplomatic utterings, and fell in line with the “Indo-Pacific” term favoured by our traditional military allies… As mentioned above, the term “ Indo-Pacific” posits an arc stretching from Japan to India including the maritime straits areas in between, which are allegedly under threat from China, or someday might be, or something.

    Amusingly Defence Assessment 2021concedes that any climate change-driven shift away from dependence on fossil fuel deposits located in the Middle East will “alter the relative significance of some trade routes.” Hey, that sounds like a shift to carbon neutrality and renewable energy could reduce the strategic importance of the very same maritime straits that are the potential flash points for conflict in the Indo-Pacific in general and in the South China Sea in particular. Peace through renewables in our time, people.

    http://werewolf.co.nz/2021/12/gordon-campbell-on-defences-desire-to-join-the-lets-confront-china-club/

    Gordy ended his essay rather well, eh? Re Indo-Pacific, this notion of an arc as a geopolitical structure shows how framing achieves political substance. Framing has become the key tool in the manipulation of mass psychology.

    • Ad 2.1

      The moist left are unused to cold measures of where their country is going. They pretend diplomatic strength, alliances, and military capacity are too dirty and hard.

      It's a surprise we're not called out for our weak Pacific diplomacy, but not a surprise that China abhors a vacuum.

      Map – Lowy Institute Asia Power Index

      New Zealand as a state is simply weak and getting weaker – other than in the one measure of resilience. But that's common in the COVID era.

      • Gezza 2.1.1

        New Zealand as a state is simply weak and getting weaker – other than in the one measure of resilience.

        It’s hard for me to envisage our adopting any kind of military posture other than a weak one. We don’t have the population or resources to afford more than a token military capability (we don’t even have any F16s, something that still breaks my heart 😭 ) which we seem to deploy mainly in fisheries policing or in transporting small numbers of our truppen (with over-stops sometimes for breakdowns) for humanitarian relief and/or peacekeeping & policing duties around the near Pacific.

        Would Kiwis tolerate, say, one orvmore US or Australian warfighting bases on our soil? Probably they’d be subject to constant attempts to disrupt their activities by peaceniks & anti-war protestors.

        We’re finally worked out, on the diplomatic front, that we have too many of our economic eggs in the basket of China & the CCP – but are our traditional Western-aligned defence partners showing any signs of wanting to do more trade with us on equitable terms to enable us to diversify away from the potential economic squeeze the CCP can put on us, should they wish to coerce Kiwiland into adopting a more China-friendly diplomatic posture in international relations when China is getting criticised for its human rights record & aggressive military actions in the South China Sea?

        One wonders, if the Chinese do eventually build a significant military base in the South Pacific region, whether the NZ govt of the time will go down the same track as the Ozzers. I suspect not. We like not making ourselves a target for massive military strikes.

        • Dennis Frank 2.1.1.1

          we don’t even have any F16s

          As a boy I collected all the cool card sets that came out of cereal packets, and still have a boxful from '50s early '60s plus my dad's from the '30s.

          Was in the ATC during college intending to be a fighter pilot, then the glamour faded. Thing is, them military toys were tools on a utility basis. When the nation had no use for them any more, they got ditched.

          While I agree with the notion that human males are hard-wired to fight, seems to me that globalising provides social context for peaceful co-existence. Culture then prevails over hormones.

        • Ad 2.1.1.2

          The questions are pretty easy.

          We've had US military bases here before, and it was very beneficial. Thankfully no one is asking, so again it's Australia that does the work for us.

          Second question: no sign of coercion by anyone,unlike the Chinese multi-category block of Australia. Again, they pay for actual principle.

          Third, we're a target because we aligned and interoperable with Australia. And we have multiple realm interests to defend.

          • Subliminal 2.1.1.2.1

            How exactly is China opting out of buying Australian unique? It happens all over the world that states attempt to impose their values on others through trade mechanisms. "No sign of coercion by anyone" is either naive or willfully blind.

            • RedLogix 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Nonetheless, trade bans for political purposes makes a nation a very unreliable business partner. And as a result supply chains are busy pulling out of the PRC as fast as possible.

              As a result of the foreign debt holders being stiffed on Evergrande, expect PRC credit rating to go into the toilet.

              As a result of the Wuhan lab leak, and the criminal cover up, expect Congress to eventually demand reparations and repudiate their foreign exchange debt with China.

              As a result of blocking Lithuanian trade expect the EU to respond

              Xi Xinping has kicked off a series of reactions he cannot control. Eventually the iron fist of control will crack.

              • Subliminal

                Which all just goes to an attempt to sidetrack the thread. Ad seems to be implying a position that the trade sanctions imposed by China on Australia are some sort of unique form of agression by China that requires us all to throw our arms up un the air and demonstrate our allegiance to AUKUS. This is a fallacy but it is also the only threat that can currently be manufactured against China in our part of the world

                • RedLogix

                  Well if you're arguing that trade sanctions are all good and fine, then you'll have no objection to the rest of the world imposing same on the PRC. There is no other major economy more dependent on imports and exports than China, most of which are right now highly vulnerable to disruption.

                  China may be big, but right now it has few friends other than the ones it pays for. And the rest of the world is bigger.

                  • Subliminal

                    Which is precisely the hypocrisy I was trying to highlight. Thank you for putting it so succinctly.

              • Blazer

                Great expectations indeed.

                Xi Xinping and Putin have alot in common atm.

                That bastion of globalisation and free trade ,Uncle Sam…is in reverse and asking for reparations as an excuse to escape debt obligations would signal their weakness and or desperation.

                Apart from Britain and Australia ,I doubt there is much love for the U.S.

                • RedLogix

                  Apart from Britain and Australia ,I doubt there is much love for the U.S.

                  OK pick a side. CCP or US?

                  (Pretending we can be non-aligned is not an option for a trade dependent nation like NZ.)

                  • Sabine

                    CCP – as they appear more stable then the US.

                    I give the US a year or two before it explodes, ditto europe and well, i guess we will see that here too.

                    Rising housing costs

                    poverty

                    and collapse of what used to be the 'middle class'

                    make for good revolutions.

                    And here in NZ we are heading the same way.

                    Bismark comes to mind. But then i don't see anyone of our beige suits that would have the mind of a Bismark, and above all the mind to look at history to play a game of divination or 'foresight' in regards to the future.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    non-aligned

                    Since it's worked quite well so far, I'm puzzled that you see it as non-viable. Realpolitik nowadays ought to use a multidimensional context. I agree the US is trending sufficiently dysfunctional that an error-prone leader is likely to try & polarise us – but I can't see any basis for such foreign policy to succeed.

                  • bwaghorn

                    Got to be the USA, (god I feel dirty) it might be a mad house but they are a democracy, they arnt big on re educating large parts of its population and they dont have a self appointed god at its head.

      • Adrian Thornton 2.1.2

        Aaahhh…Ad just one of our local cold war warriors….it is quite astonishing to follow the same people who just got their faces publicly rubbed in a plate of cold dog shit, commonly known as Russiagate…immediately jump without the slightest hesitation right into the next US lead obvious bullshit propaganda war…you would think some people would learn…not even.

        There are only two reasons why China is the enemy now..

        1. To fuel the never ending and obscene needs of the US military industrial complex
        2. To protect US ideological and corporate hegemony.

        End of story

        • woodart 2.1.2.1

          nailed it adrian. cut through the bullshit.

        • RedLogix 2.1.2.2

          it is quite astonishing to follow the same people who just got their faces publicly rubbed in a plate of cold dog shit, commonly known as Russiagate

          Here is my track record on RussiaGate.

          As far as I was concerned it was always a distraction and a stupid one at that. And this is before it became clear it was a fabrication.

          But to then conclude that because the US does stupid things – this means everything the CCP does is wonderful – is a logical fail.

    • Gezza 2.2

      The idea that shades of grey exist in a black & white world is truly subversive. The military are sending us a signal that they have transcended the binary!

      Musy say, Dennis. Personally I much prefer scriveners whose import is readily scrutable upon primary scan. 😉

      • Dennis Frank 2.2.1

        No worries smiley. Sometimes good to get to a point fast. Other times good to get people thinking instead. Deep context matters! Not to me, you say – that's cool.

        • Gezza 2.2.1.1

          No, I CAN pretty easily write like that, but it generally requires the use of a thesaurus & I’d be too worried about being considered overly pretentious. 😐

          It’s just that I consider the primary purpose of language is to communicate, & the best way to communicate is to be as precise & clear as possible. Otherwise, in my view, one is mainly wasting the readers time with arcane usage of words that may sometimes obscure the very point the writer is trying to make.

          • Dennis Frank 2.2.1.1.1

            I've explained the psychological function of third alternatives on multiple prior occasions over the past 7 years & it would be tedious to have to do it again automatically whenever the context of the topic prompts it…

            • Gezza 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Wot? 😳

              • Dennis Frank

                Re your original comment. Shades of grey are third alternatives in a binary world. Politics became binary via the reconstruction of democracy (18th/19th centuries) & it's time to liberate folks from the consequent mental imprisonment…

                • Gezza

                  yes laugh Ah. Gotcha.

                  If, by binary, you mean liberal vs conservative.

                  Or democracy vs hereditary monarchy?

                  Or democracy vs fascism?

                  Or democracy vs communism?

                  Or monarchial parliamentary democracy vs other forms of democracy?

                  Which did you mean? 🤔

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Worth an essay, so I'd better dodge that! Originally, it was ruler vs ruled. Then monarch plus aristocracy versus merchants plus everyone else. Then protestants vs catholics.

                    The French did the first transcending of the binary with their estate framing (clergy, then media as fourth). Marx conceived the bourgoisie, the middle class, between upper & lower classes.

                    If you go to mass psychology as your lens, you get good& evil framing originally. Gradually folks relativise, so things seem good or bad depending on context or point of view…

                    • Gezza

                      Only to those folk of a manichaean disposition. I’m not one of those. I’m an amateur history buff. Since I abandoned Catholicism aged about 15, the world’s affairs have always had many shades of complexity, to me.

                      Even the 2nd world war, which many see as perhaps THE primary classic example of a contest of good vs evil, has many layers which call into question the causes, effects, & moral judgements of all sides.

                      I find it fascinating that so few Nazis & collaborators who murdered hundreds of thousands were ever hunted down and prosecuted. The odd case which comes to prominience these days must make the perp feel really shit out of luck. They will no doubt know many people who did what they did & got away with it scot free.

                      The bombing of Dresden, Stalin’s pre-war pogroms & the NKVD killings of fleeing troops & gratuitous executions of commanders trying to save their men because of Stalin’s refusal to believe the Wermacht was at the door & intent on invading. All part of the grey – the fog of war.

          • Robert Guyton 2.2.1.1.2

            That's poetry kicked to touch then.

            • Gezza 2.2.1.1.2.1

              Nonsense. Different purpose. Poetry often paints pictures with words. And it doesn’t always have to make perfect sense & be logically linked. Here’s a fine illustrator of the art of poetry.

              • Adrian Thornton

                Here is some poetry that makes complete sense..

                Def Poetry – John S. Hall – America Kicks Ass

                • Blazer

                  yes-won't make RL's list of favs!

                • left for dead

                  yes

                • RedLogix

                  On the contrary I don't mind at all. The key thing however is that Hall was free to say this, had a huge audience loving it, and there it is still on YouTube where you are free to link to it.

                  And your resident moderator who you think doesn't like it will happily take no action.

                  Now compare this to my adopted Chinese son who can only communicate with us on the rare occasion he is outside of China. Ask me how I feel about that.

  3. Gezza 3

    Last weekend we had over 24 hours of steady rain – not downpours, just steadily falling, average-type rain. Ithad this effect on "my" stream.

    Before:

    https://i.imgur.com/gHdd2bi.gif

    During:

    https://i.imgur.com/a9griZE.gif

    After:

    https://i.imgur.com/QAuRJDs.gif

  4. Blade 4

    What could have been if our Health Ministry had accepted from the beginning of the pandemic that some people would want a different medical intervention to help fight Covid instead of the accepted Covid jab. There are enough doctors and researchers across the world who are tackling Covid with what they believe are effective methods. A few ministry wonks in a room for a couple of weeks could have shifted through such methods and short listed what they believe may be beneficial to those not wanting the jab. The Ministry could then have provided a short list of acceptable alternatives without endorsing or guaranteeing them.

    Instead we now have this sad state of affairs filling the vacuum – f*&#ing mouthwash.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/127232772/battling-covid-with-vitamin-d-mouthwash-and-a-dose-of-stupidity

    • Treetop 4.1

      There needs to be a third option for a vaccine. People who will not take the Pfizer vaccine have been offered the Astra Zeneca vaccine. People who have nerve inflammation auto immune conditions are cautioned not to take the Astra Zeneca vaccine. A close relative of mine is in this senario. I have told them to go to their GP and try for an exemption until a third vaccine is available.

      • Matiri 4.1.1

        I have a nerve inflammation auto immune condition and the Pfizer vaccine is widely and specifically recommended by medical specialists worldwide.

        The vast majority of the 5000 NZ patients with this condition have been vaccinated.

    • Dennis Frank 4.2

      Conformists were outraged by nonconformists in the mid-'60s. I was in the 1% at the time, so identity got impressed big-time. Everyone took it for granted that a primary function of the state was to oppress minorities.

      So Labour & National share that tradition. Nowadays National pretends to advocate freedom of choice and we get to measure their hypocrisy via votes in parliament (such as all Nats compelled into saying no to cannabis law reform despite some National MPs being in favour).

      On the issue of freedom of choice re preventing Covid infection, individual rights get subordinated to the common good. The state must preserve public health. I agree in principle that folks ought to be able to choose, yet realpolitik forces them into obedience. An uneasy balance throughout the nation. Health nazis will soon be dobbing in GPs who are dissident.

      • Treetop 4.2.1

        On the issue of freedom of choice re preventing Covid infection, how much choice do you think people should have when it comes to not being vaccinated?

        Do you think a third vaccine option other than Pfizer or Astra Zeneca needs to be made available?

      • Gezza 4.2.2

        Health nazis will soon be dobbing in GPs who are dissident.

        People ARE already doing that, Dennis. They are NOT Nazis, for heaven’s sake. How much do you actually know about the Nazis?

        You need to be a bit less keen to loosly throw around nasty names, imo.

        I’d pick another word to describe concerned citizens who notify health authorities of GPs & other medical personnel who are spreading disinformation or doing such things as issuing fake vaccination certificates. Such activity is likely to be criminal (fraud).

        • Dennis Frank 4.2.2.1

          Nazis

          Usage, currency, is as a code-word nowadays. Folks use it as code for state compulsion & behaviour of state agents…

          • Robert Guyton 4.2.2.1.1

            Please don't.

            • Dennis Frank 4.2.2.1.1.1

              Why not?? State compulsion is part of our political reality. I see no valid point in trying to censor that. Doing so makes someone delusional.

              • Gezza

                The kind of people who call governments like ours mandating strict sanitary & movement resyrictions out of necessity for the greater public good in the midst of a workdwide deadly pandemic Nazis are the kind of lazy-minded idiots who have NFI who the Nazis actually were and what they did!

                Is our government in the business of deliberately killing off people including chikdren with disabilities & mental illnesses? Is it dekiberately industrial-scale murdering members of our communities who belong to a particular racial or ethnic group? Is it beating up & murdering members of banned political parties? Is it unleashing a reign of terror across the country to ensure no criticism is tolerated or even made?

                That’s what the Nazis did.

              • Robert Guyton

                Why not? Because many people find it offensive and its use triggers sub-threads like this, over and over, ad nauseam.

              • Gabby

                Getting in a little pre-emptive ad hom there in praxis.

            • Sabine 4.2.2.1.1.2

              why not? if it is good for member of parliament to declare some with different opionions as fascists and racists – all encompassing – then whats good for the gander its also good for the goose, they / them all and everywhere.

              Language officially means nothing, words only mean what ever someone wants to mean them, and fwiw, no on in NZ other then the very very old one know or have known a Nazi or a communist for that matter.

              So on the left and on the right they all use words that are meaningless. A great and brave and stunning new world. Get on with it.

              • In Vino

                True. Many shades of meaning, also. The term 'grammar Nazi' amuses me because it is almost an oxymoron.. Oh, the inhumane cruelty one can inflict in the area of grammar!

                My experience is that most current anti-govt protestors who call Jacinda both Nazi and Communist don't know what the terns mean – just emotive terms for authoritarian or totalitarian, which is probably another word they would not understand, We have a bad lapse in literacy overall.

                Being an ex-teacher, I blame the parents.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Not the teacher's colleges?

                  • In Vino

                    Roger – please be careful with the placement of your apostrophes, or a fierce Grammar Nazi will be asking you how many colleges one teacher can have.

                    Of course. I realise that you probably did this tongue in cheek.. as a kind of agent provocateur, to flush out the Nasty Nazis.

                    • In Vino

                      Erk! Robert, not Roger!

                      (Subtly done deliberately, to soften harsh image of Nazi..)

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Roger that, El Nino!

                      Fact is, I slipped up.

                    • Gezza

                      In practice, grammar and spelling "nazis" are usually harmless & most of them – like me – have learned that with some folk, however gently and politely one tries to teach them they are making fools of themselves and the correct spelling (loosers for losers, eg) to use in future, some ignoramuses have egos so big they get dented when someone opens to door to enter the room.

                      These people (unlike Treetop, who thanks you for the lesson and takes it on board for future use, as I would) take outraged offence at being told they are using their mother tongue incorrectly or have made an unrecognised error.

                      Thus, to distract from their embarrassment, they tend to go for the jugular & instead moan about grammar or spelling "nazis". They seemingly prefer to be learning-resistant dunces.

                      I much prefer the term grammar or spelling police. Although those terms are still used by willful ignoramuses and those who like to encourage them to stay stupid

                    • In Vino

                      Agree, Gezza. Well said.

                      'Grammar Police' is nicer – a bit euphemistic..

                      But does not bring quite the same curl of malice to my smiling lips.

                      The imagined feeling of superiority because of better knowledge in things like this is a dangerous, two-edged sword.

                • Dennis Frank

                  We have a bad lapse in literacy overall.

                  You're not kidding! I've lost count of the number of times I've seen different commentators onsite here describe themselves as a "women".

                  🙄

                • Stuart Munro

                  Though parents and teachers, like captains, can never fully escape responsibility, the weaponization of social media to spread political disinformation is not their work, nor does it lie within their control as matters stand. Better not to paralyse the well-intentioned with guilt, but mobilize them to resist these pernicious threats to our society.

                  • In Vino

                    But what if they are not well-intentioned..?

                    Open slather, surely?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      If one treats the good faith efforts of fairly responsible folk on a par with the Macedonian troll farms, the standard one sets is not likely to produce anything resembling 'the decent society'.

    • observer 4.3

      Nonsense.

      The "alternatives" being claimed by the deniers are of 2 kinds:

      1) a different vaccine, not Pfizer.

      We hear this a lot (e.g. Sandra Goudie). But exactly the same misinformation is being spread in countries that have different vaccines available. Exhibit A: the USA.

      It would be no different here.

      2) no vaccine at all.

      Imagine if that was promoted as an "acceptable alternative" (do you really mean those words? seriously?). Vaccine uptake would be nowhere near 90%. Horrendous consequences, and incidentally a riot of outrage in the medical/scientific community.

      I'm all for rational debate here but it's hard to believe you are engaging in good faith. Either trolling or wretchedly uninformed.

      • Treetop 4.3.1

        The reason for an individual not being vaccinated is the strategy I would take. My relative will only take a vaccine made the old way so this excludes the Pfizer vaccine. On the short list of what caused them to be paralysed 30 years ago when a strong and fit 35 year old Guillian Barre Syndrome so Astra Zeneca is no good either.

        I feel that they are being punished and will need to isolate, mask up as much as possible, which they are prepared to do.

        • Bearded Git 4.3.1.1

          What does professional medical advice say to your relation Treetop?

          I'm 100% in support of Observer's comment above.

          • Treetop 4.3.1.1.1

            Re your question. An incomplete diagnosis has only ever been given. When a person was 75% paralysed and their motor function took 6 months to return to normal and a smaller relapse plus severe nerve inflammation in the eyes from time to time with no adequate diagnosis I understand why they are vaccine hesitant.

            It is more important for the medical system to reassure my relative that the Pfizer or Astra Zeneca vaccine will not harm them. Too late if they have a serious adverse reactions or a return of paralysis.

            • Bearded Git 4.3.1.1.1.1

              Ah OK that sounds extremely serious.

              That is a one-off situation that doesn't fit with the general roll-out of the vaccine where the vast majority of people have no genuine health issue with taking the vaccine.

        • Matiri 4.3.1.2

          Guillane-Barre syndrome has been reported after Covid infections. The risk after actual infection far outweighs the risk of vaccination.

          • Robert Guyton 4.3.1.2.1

            "Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare neurological disorder…"

          • Treetop 4.3.1.2.2

            I knew this. I wouldn't be vaccinated if I were my relative and I would request a third option.

            There are very rare medical conditions which there is not enough data on. The other day I heard something about ME sufferers becoming unwell after Pfizer.

      • mauī 4.3.2

        Gosh wouldn't it be terrible if we actually allowed people to assess their own health risks and make their own informed medical choices…

        • Robert Guyton 4.3.2.1

          Hi mauī – I think people can assess their own health risks and make their own medical choices…up to the point where it affects/endangers others. It's like smoking in cars. People can choose to smoke in their cars, but the State has intervened in order to protect the vulnerable; those who can't avoid the effects of the decisions of the smokers.

        • Patricia Bremner 4.3.2.2

          We would still have tuberculosis both human and bovine types, plus poliomyelitis, even tetanus if people did "their own research"

          Once that research would have been through print, which had been reviewed for the veracity, the internet has changed that, and can be an unreliable source of information

          Some medical interventions are a circuit breaker and are needed so nobody is being a Nazi.

          • weka 4.3.2.2.1

            circuit breaker is a good imagery.

            My problem is the false binary. We could be using vaccines, the rest of the current pandemic response toolkit, and the supports that improve immune function and the body's ability to recover – diet, vit D, herbs, acupuncture, meditation as well as poverty reduction, better housing and so on. The MoH is incapable of looking at such a thing, pathologically incapable.

            Mainstream science has a lot of difficulty in studying many of the things that help.

            • Robert Guyton 4.3.2.2.1.1

              I agree, weka, but is the core of the matter here not that the Government needed to make a blunt decision in the face of a pressing pandemic threat to our communities health?

              The nuances are fair and logical, but governance, under pressure of threat and the imperative to act as effectively as possible, can't entertain the diversity of response from a population of "5 million" and has to "shut its ears" to the clamour in order to be able to fulfil its promise to protect and serve 🙂 ?

              • weka

                that's one problem at that core. Another core issue is that the government doesn't believe in the adjunct supports, and won't act on the poverty/housing ones. That predates this pandemic, and will also predate the next one as well as climate/eco catastrophe.

                In this sense the refusers are holding a space for the adjuncts. Unfortunately for us some of that is in the hands of people down the rabbit hole who are doing damage. But we made that choice as much as anyone by supporting the putting of most eggs in one basket.

                • Robert Guyton

                  We

                  Are

                  Lost

                  (This is good news 🙂

                • UncookedSelachimorpha

                  "…diet, vit D, herbs, acupuncture, meditation as well as poverty reduction, better housing and so on…..Mainstream science has a lot of difficulty in studying many of the things that help."

                  I've read credible scientific papers on all the above topics – for many there is a substantial body of scientific literature. I think the issue is more your later comment:

                  " the government doesn't believe in the adjunct supports, and won't act on the poverty/housing ones."

                  As with climate change, scientists have provided some pretty good information, to me it is the societal and political response that is lacking.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Why is the societal response lacking, do you think?

                    • UncookedSelachimorpha

                      My own opinion (which exposes my fairly left worldview!) is that it is the overwhelming influence of wealthy interests in politics and public discourse, and the resulting collective worship of money and of the wealthy by society.

                      IMO almost all these things (persistent poverty, housing, rationed healthcare etc etc) can be understood in terms of money and power acting to advance their own interests.

                  • weka

                    I've read credible scientific papers on all the above topics – for many there is a substantial body of scientific literature.

                    Sure, and the subsequent problem of why an organisation like the MoH won't move on those things.

                    But there is still a lot that western science is not well positioned to study. That big pharma can't patent many remedies is part of it, as is a general poor understanding of how holistic medicine works (eg herbal medicines aren't drugs and their actions need to be understood within a different paradigm).

                    It's why we're entering the end of the age of antibiotics but we haven't saved the last of the antibiotic advantage by lessening usage drastically and using alternatives instead. Research supports the use of alternatives, but we are instead still over prescribing antibiotics, often unnecessarily and pushing antibiotic resistance faster and farther than it needs to go. It's completely bonkers.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Sounds exactly like the situation with fossil fuels: "It's why we're entering the end of the age of antibiotics fossil fuels but we haven't saved the last of the antibiotic fossil fuel advantage by lessening usage drastically and using alternatives instead. Research supports the use of alternatives, but we are instead still over prescribing antibiotics, using fossil fuels often unnecessarily and pushing antibiotic resistance fossil-fuel induced climate change faster and farther than it needs to go. It's completely bonkers."

                      I fully agree,

                    • UncookedSelachimorpha

                      I agree with what you say re big pharma and antibiotic misuse – these malign outcomes occur when "market forces", which are entirely aiming for short term profit, are assumed to deliver the best outcome.

                      I'm a big fan of state funded medical research. Much of what big pharma sells, started life in a publicly-funded institution.

                      My scientific background tends to make me think "everything is a chemical" – including both us and herbal medicines – but I'm not always sure on that one either!

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Take a look at "placebo", Uncooked 🙂

            • RedLogix 4.3.2.2.1.2

              Mainstream science has a lot of difficulty in studying many of the things that help.

              Now oddly enough, given the debate we were having just yesterday, I totally agree with this comment. That I will vigorously defend the meaning of Modern or Mainstream Science and it's very real achievements – does not mean that I believe it's complete, consistent or even decidable. The Veritasium video I linked to delves into this even right at the foundational discipline of mathematics – right where it was least expected.

              Science has a specific and bounded domain – the material world that is amenable to reductionist analysis. But everywhere you look in science there are signposts pointing to the borders of it's competence. The flaw at the foundation of mathematics arises due to the logical concept of self-reference which is in turn a form of proto-conciousness.

              Indeed at each level of science, in quantum mechanics, in computing science, in all biological systems the presence of consciousness is the confounding factor. In religious terms consciousness is what arises when the material body and our spiritual essence merge. And because science explicitly excludes this domain it cannot and is not intended to solve many categories of problem. The further we move from mathematics toward the social sciences the less competent a materialistic, reductionist science becomes.

              Medicine is peculiarly placed in this schema, reductionist science has made astounding advances, yet there remain as you say, whole categories of illness and disease to which it has little offer or worse. Yet any experienced and mature GP who has had decades of clinical work with long-term patients, recognises patterns within each individual patient that were never mentioned in the text books. Patterns that relate to the whole patient, their whole life and unique biology, personality and life. This is why the life sciences will always remain half science, half art form.

              • Blade

                Interesting comments.

                'Indeed at each level of science, in quantum mechanics, in computing science, in all biological systems the presence of consciousness is the confounding factor.''

                Yes, as one physicist speculated, some of our most cherished experiments may be redundant because we can't quantify the roll or effect consciousness imparted to them. A few years back two scientists claimed to have proven homeopathy worked. When their protocols were followed by other researchers, no statistically relevant results were obtained. Assuming the two scientists in question were genuine, the only factor I can see for the disparate results was consciousness. Maybe belief allows the consciousness to work miracles? I can't help laughing when people talk of the 'placebo effect'' in a disparaging way. Placebos help many people everyday.

                https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06749-8

                The real rabbit hole for me given the Covid pandemic is science has yet to explain and quantify what a virus is. They admit it's dead – but it still seems capable of hyjacking cells.

                This in turn brings up the debate of Pasteur's deathbed confession: "Bernard was right; I was wrong. the pathogen is nothing; the terrain is everything."

                Meaning, I believe, we already have pathogens and latent disease in our bodies – we catch nothing. That statement has a few hurdles to cross. Regardless, Pasteur's work is now under scrutiny.

                https://www.nytimes.com/1995/05/16/science/doctor-s-world-revisionist-history-sees-pasteur-liar-who-stole-rival-s-ideas.html

                Few seem to realise the terms of reference regarding disease is still to be written.

                • Dennis Frank

                  terrain

                  Context. Epigenetics is another relevant paradigm shift. The selfish gene paradigm was sufficiently reductionist to stick back then, until geneticists discovered that signals from the gene's organic operational context triggered genetic changes. Killed reductionism in biology stone dead.

                  That said, scientist believers in reductionism cling on due to reluctance to learn the lesson. Nobody wants to admit they've been on the wrong track most of their life. Totally understandable. As Max Planck famously said over a century ago, the old guard has to die before new scientific knowledge becomes the norm (paraphrasing).

                  • Blade

                    ''Nobody wants to admit they've been on the wrong track most of their life. ''

                    That would honestly be gutting. I would wish that on nobody.

                    Epigenetics is very interesting stuff. I wish I could have been around to see what huge advances may be coming as the 'old guard dies'

                    Rupert Sheldrake's theory of formative causation could also be added to the mix as factor for contagion.

                    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/scientific-heretic-rupert-sheldrake-on-morphic-fields-psychic-dogs-and-other-mysteries/

                    • RedLogix

                      Thank you for reminding me of Sheldrake. I think I read about him years ago, and he's got to one of those rare intellectual heroes who is willing to explore the boundaries and come back with fantastic tales – even when the stay at homes refuse to believe him.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      I've been reading/listening to Rupert Sheldrake for years now.

                      His sons are providing thoughtful commentaries now, as well.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      contagion

                      I bought Sheldrake's first book on that hot off the press & liked the scheme he outlined. He later did some consensus-building with the influential physicist David Bohm. Subatomic particles come & go from the realm of manifestation so Bohm conceived a realm of potential where they come from & go to.

                      Sort of like an extrapolation of the conventional notion of potential energy that college physics taught when I was a kid. So then you bring in resonance (likewise conventional phenomenon) and Sheldrake conceived his idea of morphic resonance from that basis. The key bit most writers who discuss this stuff miss is the role played by metaphysics.

                      Are patterns in the mind or in nature? Both. Those in nature are primary, so what produces them & where do they come from? Since Sperry won his Nobel for discovering that the right-brain works the way it does (holism, integration, pattern-recognition) the implications have pointed the way forward.

                      Are physical fields real? Physicists believe so. However you can't see them or touch them, only deduce that the model fits the facts. So they're imaginal. But physicists won't admit that.

                      Mimetics makes sense if you theorise info fields. Science is heading there. Contagion from informational resonance. We got taught the matter/energy binary. Paradigm shift that & you get this triad at the base of nature: matter/energy/information. Signalling & natural forms are produced by this triad.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Quite so, Dennis.

                      I envied Rupert his time spent in the company of Terence McKenna, casting their nets into the deep oceans of consciousness ( Night fishing at Antibes) and their hours-long dissections of the strange fish they found there.

                    • Blade

                      You guys are very interesting. I've only known of Sheldrake for the last 20 years, having come to his work through reading Super Nature by Lyall Watson and Secrets Of The Soil by Peter Tompkins.

                      Here is Sheldrake's banned TEDx talk. Some people really don't like him. Maybe they see their wasted lifetime staring them in the face as Dennis points out. Who knows?

                      https://www.sheldrake.org/reactions/tedx-whitechapel-the-banned-talk

    • Robert Guyton 4.4

      Can't "those not wanting the jab" do their own research?

    • Ross 4.5

      Instead we now have this sad state of affairs filling the vacuum – f*&#ing mouthwash.

      No worse than treating Covid with throat lozenges and paracetamol. If that treatment is widespread, that’s worse than those who don’t have Covid taking vitamin D.

      https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300453554/covid19-daughter-of-man-who-died-isolating-at-home-says-system-let-him-down

      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-vitamin-d-help-protect-against-covid/

    • Molly 4.6

      I'm sureRosemary has posted numerous times before, but I'll save her the bother today so she can get on with her windows.

      Forget the article and go to a source. There are indications of beneficial effects of a 50ng/ml level of Vitamin D3.

      COVID-19 Mortality Risk Correlates Inversely with Vitamin D3 Status, and a Mortality Rate Close to Zero Could Theoretically Be Achieved at 50 ng/mL 25(OH)D3: Results of a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

      In this publication, we used a meta-analysis of two independent sets of data. One analysis is based on the long-term average vitamin D3 levels documented for 19 countries. The second analysis is based on 1601 hospitalized patients, 784 who had their vitamin D levels measured within a day after admission, and 817 whose vitamin D levels were known preinfection. Both datasets show a strong correlation between the death rate caused by SARS-CoV-2 and the vitamin D blood level. At a threshold level of 30 ng/mL, mortality decreases considerably. In addition, our analysis shows that the correlation for the combined datasets intersects the axis at approximately 50 ng/mL, which suggests that this vitamin D3 blood level may prevent any excess mortality.

      Therefore, based on our data, the authors strongly recommend combining vaccination with routine strengthening of the immune system of the whole population by vitamin D3 supplementation to consistently guarantee blood levels above 50 ng/mL (125 nmol/L). From a medical point of view, this will not only save many lives but also increase the success of vaccination. From a social and political point of view, it will lower the need for further contact restrictions and lockdowns. From an economical point of view, it will save billions of dollars worldwide, as vitamin D3 is inexpensive and—together with vaccines—provides a good opportunity to get the spread of SARS-CoV-2 under control.

      • RedLogix 4.6.1

        Good link Molly. The public health authorities refusal to even talk about this – when Vitamin D's role is well understood, is both baffling and undermines my trust in them.

        Hell even this random comment appeared here years before COVID.

        PS: Supplementing with Vitamin D should also consider the role of Vitamin K2 as well.

        • Robert Guyton 4.6.1.1

          With the knowledge you have, RedLogix, can't you take the appropriate steps to ensure your own good health?

          • Blazer 4.6.1.1.1

            Looking for reds under the beds every morning ,must make him anxious.

            Maybe Xanax will help.wink

          • Matiri 4.6.1.1.2

            That is what I do to ensure my own good health with the support of my GP and Pharmac with high dose Vitamin D on prescription.

            • Robert Guyton 4.6.1.1.2.1

              Good on you.

              You levered a prescription for Vitamin D?

              Awesome!

              • Matiri

                Didn't have to leverage, it is widely available if you ask your GP, although my GP takes it anyway himself. I know of many other people.

                50,000IU capsules, normal prescribing frequency is one capsule a month although many prescriptions are more frequent. Mine is one capsule a week.

          • RedLogix 4.6.1.1.3

            As it happens my brother and I share a genetic disposition to a form of arthritis/eczema that is treated with high dose Vitamin D. My brother copped a much worse version of it than me and gets an injectable mega-dose once a month.

            On the other hand I take 2- 4000IU per day which prevents serious symptoms arising. But there have remained two mild eczema patches that would never quite go away, until about four weeks ago I started adding Vitamin K2. And since then both have stopped itching and are no longer active. Which explains my long-term interest in the topic.

            Optimum Vitamin D levels have long been based on outdated thinking around the levels needed to prevent rickets (under 25nmol/L), but more recent recommendations have shifted upward quite a lot. (50nmol/L and upward) Studies of some of the remaining hunter-gatherer populations show levels well over 100nmol/L as normal in these pre-industrial societies.

            Here in Australia it’s free to find out, I just ask my GP to tick a box on the form for whenever I get a checkup and blood tests. My last two have come back at exactly 50nmol/L.

            • Molly 4.6.1.1.3.1

              Interesting RL.

              Especially about the addition of the K2 reducing the eczema. I didn't know why they recommended the addition until a couple of weeks ago. Apparently the D3 intake can create excess calcium that goes into the tissues, the K2 redirects it to the bones. Sorry, don't have link, but a possible explanation for the eczema resolution.

            • Matiri 4.6.1.1.3.2

              My blood levels are consistently around 180nmol/L which is where I want them to be.

              Test is expensive here in NZ, GPs are reluctant to test.

              • Molly

                Do you mind me asking what got you testing your levels?

                • Matiri

                  I adopted a positive, evidence-based lifestyle approach to managing my Multiple Sclerosis ten years. One of the recommendations is high dose vitamin D3 and to get tested initially to determine how deficient I was. I've been tested a few times since but now I know that 50,000IU/week is the right dose to maintain optimal blood levels and haven’t been tested for a few years. I've been supported by my GP every step of the way.

                  NB my first test came back as 35nmol/L – far too low.

                  I’m also comfortable that I’m doing all I can should I get Covid – vaccination (just had my booster), vit D, healthy diet…

                  • Molly

                    Thanks. Wow, that's high dosages.

                    NB my first test came back as 35nmol/L – far too low.

                    Mine was 17. Was prescribed 10,000IU/month.

                    Taking 1,000IU/day. Will check again sometime, but would rather buy the D3 than pay for the test.

        • Molly 4.6.1.2

          For examples of what a 'third' world managed to provide as a additional tool in their Covid toolkit:

          Home-Isolation-Monitoring-Kits-For-COVID-19 – Goa District

          Dr Campbell's video and links here:

          • Blade 4.6.1.2.1

            In New Zealand this guy would be considered a quack. Could you imagine Ashely Bloomfield commenting on this video? I was about to say he'd call this chap a quack… but considering some of his recommendations having been ignored by the government… I may give him the benefit of the doubt?

            • Molly 4.6.1.2.1.1

              You obviously haven't bothered to track down his sources, which he provides links to. Mostly medical peer reviewed journals.

              But that’s OK. You don’t have to consider alternatives or supplementary treatments if you don’t consider them to be worth it. What would be good, is if you are going to dismiss them out of hand – to actually look at what you are dismissing and provide perspective on why.

              WWABD is not a persuasive criticism.

            • Robert Guyton 4.6.1.2.1.2

              Has Ashley Bloomfield called anyone a quack (links please)?

            • RedLogix 4.6.1.2.1.3

              In New Zealand this guy would be considered a quack.

              Oddly enough my GP here in Brisbane does not. Nor does the dentist my partner saw yesterday. Both regard him as an excellent educator. It's quite surprising how many people will admit to watching him when his name comes up. As you say – that public health and medical authorities would reflexively reject him as a 'quack' and shoot the messenger is unhelpful.

              No single source is of course perfect, there are no omniscient people. But I've found him reasonable, reliable and he always provides references.

              • Blade

                ''No single source is of course perfect, there are no omniscient people. But I've found him reasonable, reliable and he always provides references.''

                That's it in a nutshell. That's all a thinking person wants. And it's something our media and government is not providing us with.

            • Molly 4.6.1.2.1.4

              Apologies Blazer. I might’ve misunderstood your comment.

        • Molly 4.6.1.3

          Like I've mentioned before, after diagnosis with breast cancer the literature I found indicated that suitable Vitamin D3 levels give a protection of up to 50%. I paid for a blood test. When the oncologist got the results, they prescribed Vitamin D – because it was far too low, so they know there is some benefit although that is not part of official treatment.

          Many people (particularly women) think adequate sunlight provides enough Vitamin D. They are unaware that as women age, many lose the ability to metabolise Vitamin D from exposure to the sun. I asked my mother, who attended her GP this last week to see if she could get a blood test done on her Vitamin D levels. The GP said no, you are tanned and look as if you get enough sun. As long as you are outside for 20 minutes a day you will be alright.

          Out of the four friends who have had their Vitamin D levels checked – ALL have been prescribed supplements. (Women in their 50s)

          The K2 vitamin apparently ensures calcium produced by the Vitamin D intake is deposited in the bones. Bone strength another concern of women as they approach menopause.

          • weka 4.6.1.3.1

            people can elect to get their Vit D tested, but have to pay for it themselves if the GP won't approve it. From memory it's something like $20 or $30.

            • Molly 4.6.1.3.1.1

              I paid around $56 + GST, and had it done at the same time as other tests.

              Sent my mother home with Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2 tablets, which cost around $30 for a month's supply from Chemist Warehouse. You can take both of the dosage supplied as a daily supplement without harm. Equivalent to do that for a couple of months, than get the test done.

            • Blade 4.6.1.3.1.2

              $52 dollars for me, Weka. A couple of interesting facts you may or may not know. The government a few years back changed the way VitD is measured in NZ. Doctors cannot order VitD tests as a matter of routine according to my doctor.

              Ian Wishart had complaints lodged against him and a radio station by the Breast Cancer Foundation and the Skin Cancer Foundation ,if I remember correctly. Wishart was talking about the importance of Vit D for breast health.

              These are the types of debates we need about Covid.

              • weka

                Doctors cannot order VitD tests as a matter of routine according to my doctor.

                There needs to be a clear clinical reason.

                • RedLogix

                  Which is quite different to the situation with my GP here in QLD. The blood test form has a box on it for the VitD test and all I have to do is ask him to tick it whenever I'm doing a blood test for any routine reason.

                  Free and simple.

                  If this isn't possible, then up to 4000 IU per day and 250mcg K2 for an adult is a conservative dose that's very unlikely to cause harm.

                  If this still concerns, find a GP who will support you.

                  • weka

                    Oz has more public health money than NZ. When Vit D became a health trend, the MoH put limits on testing because otherwise people would be using the state funds for functional medicine (fishing expeditions).

                    The problem in NZ is more what counts as a clinical reason I think. I would have thought going into a year of covid transmission would count as a rationale.

                  • Blade

                    What type of K2 do you take, RedLogix? I take MK4,while most people I know take MK7.

                • Treetop

                  Does the doctor tell the consumer what the clear clinical reasons are?

                  This needs to apply for other conditions as well. In a lot of cases if a specialist says you need a medication or a treatment you get it funded. Hard to see a specialist these days so a long wait unless urgent.

                  • weka

                    GPs can still order Vit D tests, but they need to have a clinical reason beyond the patient saying "I want a vit D test because I've read that it helps immunity". The clinical reasons are things like they don't get outside much. My GP discussed it with me, but how GPs interact with patients varies a lot.

                    As explained above, this was specific to Vit D (and maybe a few other tests) because there was an increase in requests and the MoH presumably didn't want to be paying for a health trend.

                    • RedLogix

                      The other approach is to say – "I'm taking Vitamin D supplement and I need to know what my actual blood levels are to be sure I'm not going too far". Any half reasonable GP is likely to agree to this. Requiring that you should be at risk of rickets to qualify for a test is just nuts.

                      Incidentally I stumbled over this guy last night. He's definitely fringe but then again that's where the new things are waiting to be discovered.

                      However, in the last six years I have come up with a simple tactic to see if a disease is caused by Vitamin D3 deficiency and might be treatable with high-dose Vitamin D3. (I have heard from more than 1,000 people using high-dose Vitamin D3 to treat their various illnesses over the years, and have found that high-dose D3 is almost a miracle cure for up to 70 different diseases and conditions, including MS, lupus, depression, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, and many, many, more!) Of course, if you are new to Vitamin D3 your initial instinct would be to say:

                      “HA! If it sounds too good to be true – it probably is”.

                    • weka

                      From memory the MoH says just take supplemental Vit D without testing for most people. The upper limit is quite high. Anyone taking mega doses is working outside of the mainstream paradigm, and that obviously poses problems for the MoH.

                      "hey I want to take very high, experimental Vit D to cure my x disease, because some dude on the internet said it would work" won't be considered a clinical relevancy.

                      Part of the problem is that in the US, there are industry and non-mainstream doctors who are saying the reference ranges should be different (Vit D council), and this is at odds with mainstream orgs like MoH who are presumably waiting for the research to filter through.

                    • RedLogix

                      won't be considered a clinical relevancy.

                      And what you're speaking to here is the deplorable trend toward reducing clinicians to cogs in a centralised medical machine. Who're now reduced to literally ticking boxes on electronic forms during 10min consultations and can only ever work within strict 'guidelines' set by technocrats who've may have never seen a patient in their lives.

                    • weka []

                      Honestly, I think it’s the MoH trying to prevent a budget blow out from an international functional medicine health trend.

                      Doctors are already constrained by the time limit on consults

                    • RedLogix

                      Agreed. But then they can hardly complain when people look for help elsewhere can they?

                    • weka []

                      Yep. This year was a great opportunity to assess New Zealander’s Vit D status. Otoh, they’ve been kinda busy with other things.

              • Molly

                Thanks, Blazer. Good info on the reluctance to test here in NZ.

        • swordfish 4.6.1.4

          .

          Yep … from memory, the broad argument is that 4000-10,000 IU Vitamin D per day is needed to generate the optimal 40-60 ng/mL (esp 50 ng/mL) making hospitalisation & death from Delta extremely unlikely … & that Vitamin K2 needs to be taken at the same time to force the excess calcium (from higher dose D) into the bones where it's needed … otherwise it hardens the arteries / vascular calcification.

          • RedLogix 4.6.1.4.1

            Thanks. I think you and Matiri have reminded me that I need to go back and check my units.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.6.2

        I don't doubt that having adequate vitamin D (especially – avoiding deficiency) will improve your health status and ability to fight any infection.

        It is not enough to just look at the source paper, you also need to assess it in context. This paper suggests vitamin D is effectively a treatment for Covid 19 (despite "mainstream" R&D not supporting this) and if you take enough, you might completely eliminate covid mortality. A few issues with this paper, at a glance I notice:

        Weirdly, the two lead authors are not associated with known research institutions, but instead are described in the paper as "independent researchers". Only the third author (the data analyst) is at a university (not a biologist etc).

        None of the three authors appear to have ever published in the field of vitamins, human health, covid19, nutrition, medicine… Here is a bit about the lead author (note the complete lack of qualification or experience in the area of the paper). The second author is the only one who has ever published in biological science (but not related to immunity, viral disease or nutrition in any way) all prior to 1996 and his entire publishing history is very scant.

        This paper does not include any original research but is instead a review paper with some numerical analysis and extrapolation – another description of this would be it is "some reckons". When considering "reckons", they really need to be coming from credible experts in the technical field being reckoned about – which is 100% not the case here.

        Observing a trend and extrapolating to zero covid mortality….is simply ridiculous!! Akin to saying "vitamin C will correct scurvy and extend your life….so if you take even more you will live to 2000 years old…even more and you will be immortal"!

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.6.2.1

          In contrast, here is a more credible expert editorial on the same topic. The conclusion is "Benefits are possible but evidence is sparse, indirect, and inconclusive"

          Below are the credentials and affiliations of the authors making the "reckons". They are a bit more compelling when "reckoning" on this topic.

          1. Karani S Vimaleswaran, professor of nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics1,
          2. Nita G Forouhi, professor of population health and nutrition2,
          3. Kamlesh Khunti, professor of primary care diabetes and vascular medicine3
          1. Author affiliations
          1. 1Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, UK


          2. 2MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Cambridge, UK

          3. 3Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine, Diabetes Research Centre, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
          • Molly 4.6.2.1.1

            I appreciate the link, but for me an editorial article that finds no evidence, does not automatically mean that evidence has been sought or evaluated by the author.

            On this we will likely disagree.

        • Molly 4.6.2.2

          It looks at pre-infection levels of Vitamin D. Not Vitamin D as a treatment.

          A meta analysis does not include "original research". They are a statistical analyses of existing papers, in this case, around 150:

          Collected studies were divided into a population study [142] and seven hospital studies. Notably, these data sources are fundamentally different, as one assesses vitamin D values long-term, whereas the other measures vitamin D values postinfection, thereby masking a possible causal relationship between the preinfection vitamin D level and mortality.

          • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.6.2.2.1

            Yes, I should have said "preventative for", rather than "treatment for"

            • Molly 4.6.2.2.1.1

              "Yes, I should have said "preventative for", rather than "treatment for""

              Except that's also inaccurate.

              It is recognised as a possible factor in reduction of adverse and serious complications for those who contact Covid. That's it.

          • Molly 4.6.2.2.2

            Link to full pdf (incl references page) of published, peer reviewed paper.

    • Rosemary McDonald 4.7

      f*&#ing mouthwash.

      A poorly researched knee jerky little piece from a reporter capable of much better work.

      I'll throw a couple of published papers your way…

      The weight loss nonsense…https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n623

      The Vitamin D3 nonsense…https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/10/3596/htm

      Burden of Disease associated with low Vitamin D status in …

      https://niwa.co.nz › sites › default › files › burden_o…

      PDF

      by R Scragg — Abstract. Low vitamin D status is associated increased risk of all-cause mortality. The New Zealand population has low vitamin D levels, with marked ethnic …

      The silly gargle stuff…https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1882761621000065

      And zinc…not that we should need to be reminded…https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6628855/

      And at the risk of repeating myself, there's this Doctor…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZoBb-ngk5k&t=4s who was 'touting' this stuff long before the miracle Pfizer Product came into play. And the Royal Society of General Practitioners gave her a gong for this work. She advises a nose rinse as well!!!

      #morethanonewaytoskinacat

      • Matiri 4.7.1

        The mdpi.com paper on Vitamin D3 that Rosemary links to refers to blood levels of 50 ng/mL (in the US, the measure used is ng/mL, with 50ng/mL equivalent to 125nmol/L. So multiply by 2.5 to get the nmol/L measure used in NZ and everywhere else!).

      • weka 4.7.2

        The Vitamin D3 nonsense…https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/10/3596/htm

        Here's the title of the paper,

        COVID-19 Mortality Risk Correlates Inversely with Vitamin D3 Status, and a Mortality Rate Close to Zero Could Theoretically Be Achieved at 50 ng/mL 25(OH)D3: Results of a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

        My emphasis. I don't know what you are trying to say about Vit D Rosemary, because you didn't actually say.

        Here's Uncooked's analysis of the paper, worth a read https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-11-12-2021/#comment-1842175

        • weka 4.7.2.1

          The opinion piece at the start of this thread is pointing to something but not explaining it well (presumably because of high faith in the mainstream medicine god and bias against people without the same faith). What I think is important there is this,

          1. the doctor isn't giving out the range of information, thus limiting access to both informed consent and medical health care
          2. the area he works has a low rate of vaccination
          3. Māori will be disproportionately affected in
            1. accessing vaccination
            2. accessing healthcare
            3. having the good nutritional status to warrant getting protection from covid via non-vax methods (thanks poverty and institutional racism
          4. non-Māori without good nutritional status are likewise likely to be at risk
          5. Vit D on its own is probably better than nothing, but this is biased health care

          I'd have less of a problem with the doctor if he was honest about all that. Building strong immunity isn't a matter of taking a few supplements and he should damn well know better. (would love to see the newsletter and what he is saying though, it might not be quite as bad as she is reporting).

          On the other side, wtf MoH. Let people get state funded tested for Vit D status, let people supplement based on knowing the actual status and medical supervision rather than just taking random amounts, because this will bring multiple health benefits across the population. And set up some trials to test efficacy in our population.

          • RedLogix 4.7.2.1.1

            having the good nutritional status to warrant getting protection from covid via non-vax methods (thanks poverty and institutional racism)

            Have you ever considered that darker skinned people who migrate to higher latitudes might well suffer poorer health because of the much lower VitD they get from sunshine?

            Seems to me a more powerful explanation than the idea that our health institutions are full of people who want to kill them. /sarc

            • swordfish 4.7.2.1.1.1

              I can see you haven't been sufficiently schooled in the sweeping assertions of CRT dogma.
              surprise

            • weka 4.7.2.1.1.2

              Seems to me a more powerful explanation than the idea that our health institutions are full of people who want to kill them. /sarc

              That's probably because you apparently don't understand what institutional racism is.

          • Rosemary McDonald 4.7.2.1.2

            On the other side, wtf MoH. Let people get state funded tested for Vit D status, let people supplement based on knowing the actual status and medical supervision rather than just taking random amounts, because this will bring multiple health benefits across the population. And set up some trials to test efficacy in our population.

            Which is exactly what the Scragg paper I linked to said. This advice was given to the Ministry at least a decade ago…it is hard to date that paper..and still (or at least until a couple of months ago) there was no mention of any other potential adverse effects of low Vitamin D other than bone formation on the Ministry's Vitamin D page. None. They probably still believe that because Maori and Pasifica have good bone density there's nothing to worry about. Fuckwits.

    • Craig H 4.8

      Based on the Australian experience with AZ, probably just as well we ended up going with Pfizer as the primary vaccine.

  5. Blade 5

    Agree. I have thought hard as to why our government won't go anywhere near alternatives to the jab. I had a relative ask for the Astra Zeneca jab a while back and was denied( I believe things may have changed since then?). The result is she are now on the dole with taxpayers supporting her. Absolute madness. The conclusion I have come to is the contract our government signed with Pfizer has limited how our government tackles Covid. We will never know because the government will not release particulars of that agreement.

    • observer 5.1

      Pfizer won't.

      Do some basic homework before ranting, please.

      • Blade 5.1.1

        Please don't use hyperbole. And please don't use semantics. As a taxpayer I have a right to know. Hell, even these Lefties agree. The bottom line is we don't know. But I can hazard a guess.

        stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300440088/covid19-government-refuses-to-reveal-price-kiwis-pay-for-pfizer-vaccine-fearing-effect-on-supply

        https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/dec/05/wall-of-secrecy-in-pfizer-contracts-as-company-accused-of-profiteering

        • observer 5.1.1.1

          So why aren't ACT and National putting in OIA requests demanding to know? Where are their questions in Parliament? They'd love to embarrass the government, and are happy to criticise on many issues related to the vaccine rollout. The deal's been in place for a year or so, and they've missed the most obvious question! Even Blade has thought of it! How incompetent are they?

          Send an e-mail to Chris Bishop today! But before you do, here's the reply you'll get …

          "We realize that commercial contracts are confidential, as with other governments around the world. This is standard practice, as it was when National were in government, and would be in place if I was the Minister negotiating with the companies today."

          Still, there's nothing to stop you putting in the OIA requests yourself, instead of looking silly on The Standard. Have at it …

          https://fyi.org.nz/

          PS You’ll need to take it up with the Ombudsman as well. Did you even read the Stuff link you posted in your comment?

          • Blade 5.1.1.1.1

            ''So why aren't ACT and National putting in OIA requests demanding to know?''

            I don't know. Probably because they don't care? Maybe they don't want to be in the bad books with Pfizer in case they become that next government.

            Covid has changed the playing field in my opinion. You are talking of a massive, and ongoing, vaccination regime with an experimental vaccine yet to complete it full evaluation in a couple of years time. They could have released parts of the deal without disclosing costing. But they won't. Don't forget, this is humanities future on the line here.

            Your reply is full of bluster and misdirection. Please accept your censure and move on.

            [RL: A good comment, spoiled by one last unnecessary sentence. Having done this myself more times than I care to recall, can I suggest your backspace key is more of a friend than the submit one.]

            • observer 5.1.1.1.1.1

              bluster and misdirection

              Accusing somebody else of doing what you know you're doing is an ancient diversion trick, and we all learned to see through it long ago.

              Have you sent in your complaint to the Ombudsman yet? Don't waste time with me. You've found a great conspiracy, we need heroes like you to expose it.

              Unless National, ACT and the Ombudsman are all in on it? How deep does this go?

            • RedLogix 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Mod note for you.

    • Treetop 5.2

      A closed mind to offering an alternative (within reason) to the vaccines offered will be doing those who want vaccination a disservice.

      I would offer 5 vaccines. Administering an alternative would require setting up clinics.

    • Robert Guyton 5.3

      Why, Blazer, should the "Government go any where near" alternatives, when they are freely available to you and anyone else who wants to access/use them?

    • Treetop 5.4

      A well designed questionnaire could be helpful for people who want to get a Covid vaccine but will not take a particular vaccine. I would start with phobia to needles and end with serious unexplained medical conditions.

      I also think medicine is in its infancy when it comes to Covid treatments, vaccines and what Covid actually does to the body. Covid appears to be a multi system condition.

  6. Herodotus 6

    Mike Nesmith RIP and my Monkeys favourite. I hope those you are unfamiliar with his work this will tempt you to dig deeper from following these links.

  7. Byd0nz 7

    I sort of thought that the Kim Hill show was reasonable balanced, but when you cross over to Moscow for comment on the situation re Ukraine , Donbas etc, one would think you would be talking with a Russian, but no, it was a yankee Russian named NYT report, why botber going to Moscow for an American point of view. Just sayin!

    • RedLogix 7.1

      The Russian point of view is well expressed here:

      • Blazer 7.1.1

        Yes Russia makes it crystal clear it will defend its borders.

        If Gt Britain and France want to play with…fire…they will get..burnt.

        Can you imagine the angst if western nations were subjected to military build ups on their borders.

        • RedLogix 7.1.1.1

          We shall see. With a GDP that in 2020 has shrunk to barely more than Australia/NZ combined, with a fast ageing demographic, with entrenched drug and COVID disasters unfolding, with a fragile and overstretched military – and most important of all a thin and sclerotic leadership in the Kremlin – whatever cards they play next, it will likely be the last round for the nation we call Russia.

          To my mind the split between Europe and Russia is one of the great enduring disasters of human geopolitics. In the long term it must be healed.

          • Blazer 7.1.1.1.1

            Bit ungreatful aren't you ,considering the role they played in defeating the Nazis in WW2.

            So its GDP would be in the top 12 nations in the world.

            Would not under estimate Russia.Nordstream 2 is an interesting …'chip'.

            • alwyn 7.1.1.1.1.1

              "considering the role they played in defeating the Nazis".

              Well that was the USSR actually before it split up in 1991 into 15 independent countries. It was also rather a long time ago wasn't it.

              After all, The Netherlands was once a superpower. Sure, it was in the 17th century but that isn't long ago is it?

            • RedLogix 7.1.1.1.1.2

              Bit ungreatful aren't you ,considering the role they played in defeating the Nazis in WW2.

              Not sure how you reached that, maybe it was where I said: "To my mind the split between Europe and Russia is one of the great enduring disasters of human geopolitics."

              Part of the problem here is that everything I've written here on my sense of Russia, and my two working visits to that country, cannot be contained in one comment.

              • Blazer

                'whatever cards they play next, it will likely be the last round for the nation we call Russia.'

                Pretty wishful thinking there.

                Russia could take Ukraine out by lunchtime.

                Macron and Johnson should have more sense than to escalate things.

                • Stuart Munro

                  If the voters of the Ukraine wish to move away from the influence of the poorly governed Eurasian colony they founded a few centuries back, that should really be up to them. Ukraine & Poland have experienced Russian rule, and want something better, just as most New Zealanders experienced Key's governance, and experienced inspirational dissatisfaction.

                  • Blazer

                    with a turn out of around 36% ..'most Ukrainians must be disappointed.

                    ' have experienced Russian rule, and want something better'

                    I do give them credit for electing a comedian as President ..though

                    that was all done in the 'best possible ..taste'.

                    • alwyn

                      "electing a comedian"

                      We did that when we elected David Lange as Prime Minister and he was absolutely brilliant at it. He really was a magnificent comedian.

                      The current incumbent in the PMs job is merely the joke.

          • Robert Guyton 7.1.1.1.2

            "… with entrenched drug…"

            Wot?

    • Sabine 7.2

      yeah, cause talking to all the players is just so 'reactionary' and in this new world of ours we only speak to people that we like. Lol.

  8. Gezza 8

    @ Blade, from yesterday

    “Blade 21.1.1
    10 December 2021 at 5:55 pm
    Oh, he would have shot a Browny, no doubt. But a special hatred is saved for white folk in my opinion.

    Look and learn. I know hundreds – repeat hundreds- who want out.

    https://www.maorirangersecuritydivision.com/

    Gezza 21.2
    10 December 2021 at 5:24 pm
    I’m 7/8 Irish heritage, 1/8 Norwegian heritage, Ngati Pākehā thru & thru, 3rd generation native to Kiwiland.

    Do you mind me asking your ancestors’ ethnicity, Blade?

    Blade 21.2.1
    10 December 2021 at 5:58 pm
    Roughly half Scots/ English. Half Maori with a dash of Spanish.”
    … … … …

    2 queries, e hoa

    I’d never heard of the Māori Ranger org until ypu posted that yesterday. A fascinating read & backs up what you, RL, & maybe a couple of others have said about Māori separatists in Kiwiland.

    Q1. Do you think the police & security services are monitoring this lot?

    Q2. If you are half Māori, are you plugged in to one or more marae, hapu & /or iwi by viture of whanau members & your whakapapa, & if so, where are they regarding any Treaty Claims?

    • Blade 8.1

      E hoa, yes. But this lot are cunning. You will notice two things – they have distanced themselves from other pro Maori movements, and they have invited Pakeha to participate. Pakeha who join are in no way discriminated against. They are welcomed because this lot know they are pro Maori. And Pakeha who join, I assume, would also have an agenda – to stay safe ( and woke) in case this mob gained political clout, something until recently I thought could never happen.

      I emailed Internal Affairs about the legality of this group. I could not believe the stupidity and poor use of language in their replies. The bottom line was after three emails they decided the group had no legal standing in New Zealand Law. They went on to say these groups pop up now and again claiming falsehoods.
      I couldn't help feeling they weren't sure how to reply to my request. This may tie into your question:

      . ”Do you think the police & security services are monitoring this lot?”

      The key to this lot is Peter Martin & Monica Eastick . I can find nothing on Peter, but Monica has had financial issues in the past. BTW, they have claimed victory in a court case in the Bay Of Plenty with the judge accepting their case had legal status. Look in the video archives.

      '''You are half Māori, are you plugged in to one or more marae, hapu & /or iwi by viture of whanau members & your whakapapa, & if so, where are they regarding any Treaty Claims?'''

      I'll come back to that. I have to go out.

      • Blade 8.1.1

        @ Gezza. We recently settled a claim at Mohaka ( Hawke's Bay), but generally my immediate family have little to do with claims. Nor are they interested. As are many Maori, contrary to media portrayal. Most Maori realise any settlement in their name will unfortunately equate to zero dollars in their pockets. And those so called Iwi grants for funding and scholarships are sometimes tainted with nepotism.

        • Gezza 8.1.1.1

          Yes, I’m aware some iwi & marae leaders & their legal reps are accused of profiting too much personally from iwi settlements.

          But iwi, hapu & marae themselves all have their own, often different kaupapa & tikanga, and vary even in how the much of their leaders’ functions can be significantly different as regards their authority to act on behalf of nga tangata o te iwi.

          Some of their peoples expect far more accountability, & are not shy in telling their rangatira & ariki when they do not agree with what they propose.

          And, by various accounts, as seen on tv news sometimes, various iwi have been very fastidious in accounting for their spending, having invested in iwi-employing well-managed business ventures, establishing scholarships for rangatahi to get business or STEM or construction skills etc.

          I don’t think we can make blanket statements about tribal elites being the primary beneficiaries in all cases of Treaty Settlements. I think some of them are investing very wisely in their futures as functioning iwi & thriving, up-to-date marae-based communities.

  9. arkie 9

    Hope springs eternal:

    Speaking to RNZ for an extended end-of-year interview, Ardern said she hoped 2022 would halt the recent "runaway increases in house price growth".

    Ardern said all the government's actions were working towards a "cooling in the market".

    "The work we've done to close tax loopholes, to tilt the market away from investors and towards first time buyers, billions into housing acceleration.

    "All of that has been about changing up fundamentally the housing market as it stands. And that's what's required."

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/457683/ardern-wants-runaway-increases-in-house-price-growth-to-stop-in-2022

    The large number of people locked out of the housing market by the continued acceleration of prices are also hoping for a cooling market but I would have thought a PM with an unprecedented MMP majority could do better that hope.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 9.1

      Good to hear this change of heart!

      Now they just need to remember they are the government, with an absolute majority. Not just another outside, passive observer of the housing market.

    • Ad 9.2

      She's said something very similar for the last 5 years.

      Pay it no mind and watch the CV's next year for the truth.

  10. arkie 10

    A fantastic project and a great example of the good work being done far away from the tractors blocking Lambton Quay:

    The four year Tonganui Corridor project linking the Aorangi range in the east and the Remutaka mountains in the west involves planting and protecting tens of thousands of trees on strips and pockets of farmland in the South Wairarapa valley.

    It's hoped the corridor will eventually link the ranges and allow birds, insect life and other native species to flourish across the basin.

    From whole valleys to just one hectare slots, there are now about two dozen parcels of land starting to form a chain through the lower valley and 15 more are on the cards for next year, according to the Trust's operations manager Aaron Donges.

    Raihania Tipoki said it is now a common sight to see kereru flying between stands of natives on his farm after years of planting. He has also joined the project, despite being somewhat cynical at first.

    For him giving back to the whenua is key.

    "We've been promoting planting natives for a very long time," he said.

    "Knowing that other farmers are doing this for the right reasons, not just to look good or raise the value of their land."

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/countrylife/audio/2018824071/bird-highway-takes-flight

    • Robert Guyton 10.1

      This is excellent news, arkie!

    • RedLogix 10.2

      Good to see this idea expanding.

      Much of the backbone for these protected zones arose from the work done by the various regional water supply authorities who have long zoned off their catchments from human access. In particular the catchment for the Wainuomata treatment plant was looked after for many years by a small number of Regional Council staff who pioneered pest eradication programs in these areas. I had the privilege of being able to access the Orongorongo valley for work purposes and it's truly one of the last remaining pockets of lowland mixed podocarp forest left in the North Island.

      I recall taking my partner in one year just around Christmas over the private 4wd access track and being astounded at the richness of the rata bloom that year. I'd never seen that anywhere else.

      And that experience planted the seed in my mind that I've tried to convey elsewhere – that we save nature by finding ways not to use nature.

      • JO 10.2.1

        we save nature by finding ways not to use nature yesyes

        Every tourist experience of NZNatureInc is less about nature than it is for humans to look at, play in, be affected by, photograph or profit from. The Key that unlocked this approach was that once-ubiquitous 100% Pure NZ slogan.

        This perfect solution was suggested way back in 1997…
        https://www.theonion.com/new-national-parks-website-makes-national-parks-obsolet-1819564303

        • RedLogix 10.2.1.1

          Yes – given how much tramping/climbing a younger version of me did, part of me wants to sneer at that. But the truth is I now see more of the world on YT than I ever could have by walking.

          I have strongly mixed feelings on this.

  11. arkie 11

    Chlöe Swarbrick speaking frankly and as rationally as always about drug reform and the cannabis referendum:

    She told Stuff that the campaign would have needed to be broader than her and the Greens to win.

    “To be totally frank, I didn’t anticipate that this would be something that was shouldered entirely by one politician or one political party,” Swarbrick said.

    “I very intentionally stepped away from the public sphere in advocating for this in the first few months and towards the middle of 2020 – because you know, tight or close association of one person with any political issue can end up being quite dangerous, because it becomes a proxy for whether you like or dislike a person.

    “I am one person, and I’m never going to be everyone’s cup of tea.”

    Like many on the pro-legalisation side, she was frustrated that the Prime Minister refused to disclose her position before the referendum, ultimately only revealing she was a “yes” vote after her side had lost. A Curia poll after the election found just 55 per cent of Labour voters had backed “yes”.

    Asked if she thinks Ardern’s support could have swung it, Swarbrick said we’ll never know – but it certainly would have had an impact.

    “I think it would have been really naive to say that it wouldn’t have made a massive difference.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300475505/chle-swarbrick-green-party-cant-be-the-only-ones-pushing-drug-law-reform

    • Dennis Frank 11.1

      the Prime Minister refused to disclose her position before the referendum, ultimately only revealing she was a “yes” vote after her side had lost. A Curia poll after the election found just 55 per cent of Labour voters had backed “yes”

      My take is that the PM is so keen to be seen as conservative that her strategy of presenting as a progressive sometimes takes a hit.

      Failure of leadership is the obvious framing to use. True, she's vulnerable to the charge of hypocrisy, but I suspect she's simply caught in the usual conundrum of the liberal. And Labour voters are too stupid to recognise minority rights as the basis of the issue. The right to get high can't break through the concrete in their heads yet.

      They will happily concede minority rights as a valid principle in all the other social context where it has been used to empower minorities. However the temptation to remain a hypocrite is too powerful for them to get it right.

      • Robert Guyton 11.1.1

        She made a mistake, Dennis.

        Whoever would have imagined that this was possible?? A person, wrong on a particular issue??

        What's the world coming to???

        • Sabine 11.1.1.1

          And Andrew Little is continuing in make the same mistake over and over again.

          What is the world coming too?

      • Robert Guyton 11.1.2

        But, hey! "And Labour voters are too stupid to recognise…"

        That's not kind.

        • Dennis Frank 11.1.2.1

          And it was a gross over-generalisation! I ought to have written "45% of Labour voters are too stupid to recognise minority rights as the basis of the issue."

          frown

          • Gezza 11.1.2.1.1

            I ought to have written “45% of Labour voters are too stupid to recognise minority rights as the basis of the issue.”

            Well, you could have, but it calls for speculation & mind-reading attemps on your part when you actually have NFI why they voted against it.

            And in the majority of cases I expect they were simply concerned about issues like stoned drivers causing havoc & deaths on the road, stoned kids n rangatahi failing at school because unable to concentrate, latent schizophrenia being triggered in some teenagers & the effects on brain development of under 25s if cannabis use becomes more prevalent than it is already.

      • Anne 11.1.3

        My take is that the PM is so keen to be seen as conservative that her strategy of presenting as a progressive sometimes takes a hit.

        That's bullshit Dennis Frank.

        If she had disclosed the way she intended to vote she would have been accused by all and sundry of trying to manipulate the outcome. The Nats, ACT and the tabloid media would have had a field day.

        • Dennis Frank 11.1.3.1

          Are you claiming she's so inadequate as a political leader that she's incapable of taking a moral leadership position on a moral issue??

          Looks like it. I disagree. It appears that she wimped out, due to cowardice. However, since I still support her as PM, I chose a more favourable framing… angel

      • Craig H 11.1.4

        Having been to a few Labour conferences in my time, the issue of legalising/decriminalising drugs is hotly debated and very divisive as often both sides of the debate think the other side just wants to watch the world burn.

        I'm not surprised the leader of the Labour Party felt she couldn't go there when the party itself doesn't really know what its position is (if an internal referendum was held, I suspect it would be in favour of legalisation, but it would be a close margin).

    • weka 11.2

      Been really enjoying your comments lately arkie.

  12. observer 12

    The protesters are protesting against the protesters in Auckland:

    "Leo Molloy has addressed the crowd.

    He's asking for any leaders of the protest to come forward. Calling himself a personality of hospitality and the incoming Auckland mayor, Molloy said if protesters want respect, they need to send their message to Government and not disrupt business.

    Someone swore at Molloy and he swore back, prompting people to cut him off.

    People ended up booing Molloy off the mic."

    The People's Front of Judea taking on the Judea People's Front.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-delta-outbreak-anti-mandate-protest-under-way-newmarket-hopes-for-calm/5MJJGAG3GEFLR6UXKVM5KOQU44/

    • weka 12.1

      A woman in a wheelchair – thought to be Casy Hodgkinson, who has been reported as suffering a bad reaction on anti-vaccination social media sites – is now addressing the crowd.

      Lol, clever use of grammar there Herald.

    • weka 12.2

      when parliament isn't listening, the point of protest is to disrupt society.

    • Blazer 12.3

      'incoming Mayor Leo Molloy'….the poison dwarf…still delusional.

    • observer 12.4

      From same NZ Herald link:

      "One man is using a loudspeaker, encouraging people to gather here between 11am-1pm every day to send their message.

      He said it was essential that "we get rid of freemasonry" and replace all politicians."

      Jolly good.

    • Gezza 12.5

      Someone swore at Molloy and he swore back, prompting people to cut him off.
      People ended up booing Molloy off the mic.”
      “The People’s Front of Judea taking on the Judea People’s Front.”
      … … … … … …

      Pure amateur comedy hour, that. You wouldn’t write a script for that in case the programme producers said it was too unbelievable. 😀

  13. weka 13

    Is Portillo extremely ignorant or instead malicious?

    • Anne 13.1

      I get the impression some countries (UK in particular) are pissed off that compared to them, NZ in particular has done remarkably well. Far better than them.

      I mean how dare they. They're at the bottom of the world… a little tin-pot colonial outpost being independent and doing better than us? They've done this kind of thing before. We need to bring them down a peg or two. 😉

    • dv 13.2

      Cases per Million

      GB 156,716

      nZ 2523

      Deaths

      GB 2138

      NZ 9

      Thanks for being inNZ!!!!

  14. rod 14

    Chris Luxon preaches to the converted in sunny Hamilton, not much social distancing on show with his adoring fans though.

    As seen on TVNZ 1 News.

    • Blade 14.1

      Be kind, Rod. The way things are going an early election may be on the cards with this guy becoming your new master.

      • solkta 14.1.1

        Why would an early election be on the cards? What a strange thing to say.

        • Blade 14.1.1.1

          Not really. If there is consistent angst and violence at road blocks now spouting up all over NZ, I will be surprised if there isn't one. The question is: has National the wit to put this idea into the public’s mind?

          • observer 14.1.1.1.1

            Which Labour MPs will be crossing the floor to deprive the government of its majority, and force an early election?

            Suggest the names, please.

            • Blade 14.1.1.1.1.1

              I don't know of any Labour MP who would cross the floor.

              • solkta

                Well you will need to find at least 30.

                  • solkta

                    On what grounds? The legislation that allows for iwi checkpoints has royal assent.

                    • Blade

                      It has to be a dire situation. I would class racial/ staged checkpoint violence that continues over summer as such a situation. I would also think iwi using more power than the legislation allows for to annex their tribal homeland would be another dire situation.

                      The question is – what will Luxon do to fix such a situation?

                      I honestly hope it doesn't come to this. Many folk are tired. Many are jaded. We just want a break.

                      Next year will be a horror. Over the Xmas break many business owners will be asking themselves if it's worth opening up in the new year. Austraaliiia, here they come.

                    • observer

                      Well, Australia is one country where the Gov-Gen did intervene to over-ride a democratic election, so it might be more to your liking.

                      In NZ it has never happened, not even in times of war, plague, massive civil strife.

                      If it did (it won't) then Luxon would have to say he agreed with abolishing an elected Parliament. He would be rolled by caucus instantly (Simon Bridges at least understands the law). Even David Seymour might feel queasy about ending our history of democracy (we're at the top of the world charts, BTW).

                      But you know all this already, of course.

                    • solkta

                      You mean a really extreme situation like how the GG sacked the Muldoon National gummint over the Springbok Tour? Oh wait that didn't happen.

                      Nor is your dreamed of violence likely to happen.

                    • Blade

                      ''You mean a really extreme situation like how the GG sacked the Muldoon National gummint over the Springbok Tour? Oh wait that didn't happen.''

                      Hmmm…maybe you should have more time to think about the two issues, and maybe find some differences.

                      Oh wait! No need, I'm very familiar with constitutional law.

                    • solkta

                      Well if you are "very familiar with constitutional law" then you should be able to explain what the fuck you are on about. On what grounds would the GG sack the government?

                  • Blade

                    Observer. You did know about the G.G's Reserve Powers? Yes or No. A simple question.

                    • observer

                      My comment on Whitlam's dismissal should give you a clue. Of course I know.

                      If we're playing the Yes/No game, do you know who the G-G is? And do you think she wants to be remembered as the person who overturned an election result?

                      Believing in Santa is more credible than this line of fantasy you're following.

                    • Blade

                      Well, if you knew that, you wouldn't have written this, would you? Because you would know that horrible Blade would eat you for breakfast.

                      ''Which Labour MPs will be crossing the floor to deprive the government of its majority, and force an early election?

                      Suggest the names, please.''

                    • observer

                      Because MPs crossing the floor is very rare, but has happened.

                      Whereas the G-G using those powers has never happened.

                      I simply assumed you were suggesting the 0.1% probable thing, not the 0.001% probable thing.

                      Look, you're having a bit of a meltdown in a public forum, digging ever deeper, and I don't want to be a party to that, so I'll leave you to it.

                    • Blade

                      Lol..like a good Leftie, you are setting the narrative. I'm sure I'll get over my meltdown.

                • solkta

                  ooops, of course i mean at least half that to walk.

          • McFlock 14.1.1.1.2

            Most of the public don't need a telescope to see where national is coming from.

            Unless Luxon's mere presence creates a sea-change for national, they'll be better off having the election as far away as possible, simpy to head off ACT at the tory pass.

            I reckon the nats are at about the lowest point they'll go, but they need to claw their way back up the hill while throwing a couple of good elbows to keep ACT behind them (but not so many that ACT tell the nats to get stuff).

            • Blade 14.1.1.1.2.1

              Heard Jacinda on News Hub admitting the government could have done more regarding Maori vaccination rates. I'm guessing there are many Labour voters who are just over having this narrative rammed down their throats.

              I think the media and the Left forget Lefties can be racist too. And I'm guessing National picked up a few votes tonight especially with Luxon pictured doing a half decent cricket bowl. He may need to whiten those teeth though. They are a little too off-white.

              • McFlock

                Not sure how you got to any of that from my comment.

                FWIW, juco tried pretty hard pushing the "separatism" line – didn't do much for her, but maybe Lux is more palatable.

                • Blade

                  Your comment was indirectly about voter numbers? I was just showing how Labour is losing votes at the moment. And that National isn't the only one who needs to watch their step.

                  • McFlock

                    Well, it's how you think Labour is losing votes.

                    But the problem for national is that even if Labour lose votes, and the right wing gain votes, that's still not necessarily good news for national. If act get too strong, then any soft nats know they will be voting for a genuine coalition with act. Not a token "awww, we'll let rimmer sit with us at the grown-ups table", but an actual coalition where Act get to drive a significant chunk of government policy.

                    Now, the so called floating voter might exist in significant numbers (or might not), but if someone's a moderate conservative, will they vote national to get a NACT government or will they vote Labour to fend off the greens' influence in a Labour-led government? hmmm.

                    • Blade

                      Fair comment. Time will tell.

                    • Gezza

                      I’m curious. Where does Seymour’s occasional nickname here – Rimmer – come from?

                      Can anyone tell me?

                    • Blade

                      I don't know, but maybe we shouldn't know why he's called 'Rimmer?'

                    • McFlock

                      On the flipside, Labour won't be taking the next election casually, but realistically some of the mid-level caucus will be looking at 3-term-itis and wondering where they might be in 5 years time, too.

                      I think they're ok-ish for this time around, but there needs to be some sort of nox injection into their engine for any third term, and a planned transition to next generation Labour pollies. That means reshuffles, and reshuffles mean individuals jockeying for position, and someone will probably take it too far.

                      Because what we've seen in previous mmp elections is the 4th-election caucus collapse so severe that the promising mid-level pollies lose their seats, while the longer term mediocrities have sinecure list spots or safe electorate seats. Then the senior level bow out, so there's no older ones to keep the new ones in line, and everyone starts carrying shivs.

                    • McFlock

                      lol "Rimmer" comes from Seymour's resemblance to a particularly oily character from the UK sci fi comedy "Red Dwarf".

                      The "H" on the forehead shows the character to be a hologram AI implanted with the personality of a long-dead, indredibly stupid and annoying, crew member.

                    • Gezza

                      @ McFlock, re Rimmer, thank you

                      yes

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      You want to know about Rimmer…

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Lets face it, Rimmer (and by extension Seymour) is a very sexual being:

          • Stuart Munro 14.1.1.1.3

            has National the wit to put this idea into the public’s mind?

            Given their performance over the last few years, I'm not sure they have the wit to roll over in bed.

            • Blade 14.1.1.1.3.1

              surprise

              • Gezza

                Well, tbh, Blade they HAVE lurched from one disaster to another in opposition.

                Who ever knew or suspected that Judith Collns, who’s harboured leadership aspirations for donkeys years, was a such a complete bleeding f***wit?

                Not me. I was uetterly gobsmacked by her lack of self-awarewness & propensity for seemingly endless foot-shooting.

                Even when she got onto an issue a competent LOTO should be able to exploit to the max, she’d blow it. 😮

                • Blade

                  I was kind of neutral about Judith. She seemed to be stuck in the same spot, neither going backwards or forwards. But in hindsight, as you say, she was a horror. As for her self-awareness …didn't seem she had any

                • Sacha

                  Who ever knew or suspected

                  Many of us.

          • Craig H 14.1.1.1.4

            All such checkpoints have to be set up and supervised by police officers (constables to quote the legislation), just like drink driving checkpoints (always popular in the holiday season). Any arrests, prosecutions and fines have to be handled by police officers. The same amendment to the legislation also allowed for NZDF to be used, and enforcement officers for the purposes of Covid legislation can be appointed from a wide range of government agencies in addition to the Police – why not add a few more voluntary groups that work with the Police already?

            Also, why would the Police set up vaccine pass checkpoints anywhere other than in driving distance of the Auckland boundary? Northland and perhaps parts of Waikato, Coromandel and BoP I can see, but why would they be checking all over NZ such as in the South Island?

  15. Sanctuary 15

    From Adam Tooze:

    • weka 15.1

      (if you put the twitter URL straight into the comment rather than via the link tags, it will embed. I fixed it).

  16. Gezza 16

    216 Comments on Open Mike at 5 pm on a December Saturday strikes me as doing pretty well, TS 👍🏼

    • weka 16.1

      I've been noticing this too and enjoying the resurgence of energy in both conversation and debate. Very cool.

    • Blade 16.2

      I want $500 from you for me being the punch bag.

      • Gezza 16.2.1

        .
        💵 💵 💵 💵 💵

        Consider it a donation to a worthy cause. You obviously don’t mind getting some lumps raising issues & expressing conservative or libertarian opinions that will attract strong responses from commenters here.

        I think that’s a good thing, personally.

        You seem to express yourself generally pretty well. And it’s good to see you’re open to argument & happy to apologise for errors.

        I say welcome aboard, e hoa.

      • Robert Guyton 16.2.2

        I don't regard you as a punch bag, Blade.

        I do think you're a subtle eroder-of-confidence though.

        Whether that's by design or accident, remains to be explored.

  17. joe90 17

    Meet the fam.

  18. Jenny how to get there 18

    Anti-vaxxers continually protest about losing their 'choice' and 'freedom' meanwhile anti-vaxxer militants are fraudulently taking away others choice and freedom from illness.

    Anti-vaxxers have vandalised a medical centre in Pamure Auckland that was vaccinating people and threatened staff in an attempt to stop people execising their choice to get the protection vaccination provides.

    Antivaxxers have phoned in false bookings under fake names and details to prevent others making bookings, leaving vaccination staff idle and causing vaccine to be wasted.

    So that they can fraudulently pose as being vaccinated, and freely go about and spread disease.

    Anti-vaxxers have been detected paying a man to take the vaccine for them, so that they can pose as being vaccinated.

    Is there no end to these people's evil?

    I hope every one of the individuals who paid this man to pose as them to obtain false vaccine credentials, is apprehended and prosecuted to the full extent of the law, as an example to any other of this scum who might want to try and deliberately risk other's health and wellbeing.

    A man who was vaccinated against Covid-19 up to 10 times in one day on behalf of other people has prompted a warning from the Ministry of Health about the dangerous behaviour….

    ….It is believed the man, who is understood to have visited several vaccination centres, was paid for the jabs, according to Stuff.

    https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/covid-19/covid-19-delta-outbreak-man-got-10-vaccine-shots-in-a-day-ministry-of-health-investigating/

  19. Adrian 19

    The ‘ mother ‘ etymology is fascinating especially that Yiddish is on the German branch. How?

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