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Open mike 12/02/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 12th, 2021 - 54 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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 …

54 comments on “Open mike 12/02/2021 ”

  1. Morrissey 1

    The wonderful former NZ Herald cartoonist Malcolm Evans is still going strong…..

    • Adrian Thornton 1.1

      Yes and Biden is turning out exactly as expected….no surprises there, he has a long history and proud history of being on the wrong side of history…

      Biden Continues Trump’s War on the Press

      "Biden isn’t just upholding Trump’s assault on press freedoms, he’s rejecting Obama’s decision not to charge Assange due to First Amendment concerns"


      • Andre 1.1.1

        I s'pose it's too much to ask to hold off on that judgement until Biden actually gets some of his appointments confirmed at the Justice Department? Particularly the Attorney General position?

        At this point, everybody in the DoJ decision-making chain is still a carryover from the Twitterfinger J. Putinpussy kakistocracy, so they're entirely operating on cruise control. Including the spokesgargoyle, Raimondi, that the statement is attributed to. There is a Friday deadline in the UK for filing to continue the extradition case, so of course it's going to just carry on on autopilot.

        I get it that for Saint Julian of the Assflange cultists, this is one the anchorstones their world revolves around. But Biden's really got much more pressing issues for his urgent attention than an arsehole Australian in a British jail. In any case it would probably be procedurally inappropriate for Biden to intercede to drop the extradition case. That action really falls in the purview of the DoJ and Attorney General.

        • Adrian Thornton

          @Andre @Andre @Andre

          How about you put your money where your mouth is then…I bet $50 ( the loser pays the bet into the account of the others charity or organization of choice, with provided proof of this being done ) that Assange's extradition is still pursed by Biden officially within six months…

          Put up or shut up.

          • McFlock

            Is money really a substitute for basing your opinions on demonstrable evidence?

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              By evidence, I assume you mean something other than "Saint Julian", "Assflange cultists" and "arsehole Australian" – they're all just personal ‘opinions’, right?

              • McFlock

                Those were indeed most colourful opinions.

                But the point about holding off on judgement until an AG has been confirmed still stands. Of all the stuff facing the new administration in its first three weeks, Assange is not exactly at the top of the list.

                Maybe the decision will go one way, or maybe the other. But there has been no indication so far that any decision-maker has even looked at Assange yet.

                A spokesman who was working under the previous administration (so probably a career public servant) has made a statement consistent with the current policy. It's called a "transition". See what happens when it's complete. Maybe Adrian's hunch is based on wishful thinking as much as every other gambler's hunch.

                • Andre

                  Still, it's interesting to note that Caitlin Johnstone (author of Adrian Thornton's Consortium News piece) has acknowledged that Obama's position was to not go after Assange, on First Amendment grounds. So it follows that Johnstone understands that Assange stayed holed up in the embassy after 2013 purely to avoid facing up to the Swedish sexual allegations and the consequences for jumping bail.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    Didn't think so, but then again it does not surprise me in the slightest that you or your cohorts don't stand behind your own stated positions….just a lot of spineless air bags, the last sort people you would want to have with you in a tight corner

                    Biden DOJ Files Appeal to Get Assange Extradited


                    • Andre

                      I’m not particularly interested in attempting to have a conversation with someone acting like a belligerent bar drunk.

                      But anyhoo, the information in that Consortium News piece is totally consistent with the Department of Justice simply cruising along on autopilot. The key point being that there currently appears to be precisely nobody in the DoJ decision chain that was actually appointed by Biden, they are all still carryovers from the Mango Mugabe's maladministration.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Expected use of soft power – we see the results here on the Standard:

    TRAITORS working for Communist Chinese Government?

    However, the foreign reaction to the growing realization of the CCP's genocide of the Uyghurs has clearly got the Chinese worried about the potential boycott threat to Bejing Winter Olympics, and the inappropriate threats are starting.

    Beijing 2022: ‘China will seriously sanction’ any country that boycotts Winter Olympics, says state-backed media chief | South China Morning Post (scmp.com)

    Let's not disappoint the Butchers of Beijing – let's start calling for a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics unless independent foreign observers are allowed to investigate the Uyghur genocide. Otherwise, attending the Beijing winter games is entirely akin to attending the 1936 Berlin games while the Jewish genocide was getting underway.

  3. Ad 3

    Great to see Ardern announce first vaccine arrival next Saturday.


    • Sanctuary 3.2

      Yes thast is what I thought, cunning use of underpromise and over deliver! I am actually a lot happier than I thought I might be. Can't wait for my jab. And I hate needles!

      • Ad 3.2.1

        And all that need for an economic development plan, or a poverty reduction plan, or a housing plan, just melts away as the Covid19 story simmers it all away into Ardern's ethereal steam.

      • alwyn 3.2.2

        Underpromise and overdeliver?

        I guess it is a matter of opinion but the "promise" was that New Zealand would be at the front of the queue in getting vaccines. After all it was Chris Hipkins who said "I think we're in a very good place to ensure that as vaccines start to come to market New Zealand will be at the front of the queue to be getting vaccines," That was in the middle of November last year.


        I haven't counted the exact number of different countries in this list of the vaccination numbers by country but there must be about 100 that have already been carrying out vaccinations according to this list. They seem to use a rather odd definition of "country" in that they include both United Kingdom and England. My modern geography isn't really up to counting exactly how many different countries are really in this list.


        If we do start next week that will put us in the bottom half of countries carrying out vaccinations won't it? Would you really say that was overdelivering against a promise that said we would be "at the front of the queue"?

        • Enough is Enough

          The BBC has a good little counter, which shows how your country is compared to everyone else.


          The UK has done a lot of things very wrong but they are certainly in the leading pack when it comes to the vaccine roll out at 20.33 doses per 100 people.

          Obviously they needed to get to that point quicker but I think it will be late winter before we get to that sort of coverage.

          • alwyn

            I see from todays news that the US will have enough vaccine doses to be able to vaccinate 300 million of their people by the end of July. In practice that probably means that everyone who is willing to be vaccinated will be.

            They all appear to be Pfizer or Moderna, which have both been reported as being over 90% effective.

            Wow! I guess we can greet them with a variant of the old song from the Great Depression era. Instead of "Buddy, can you spare a dime?" we can try "Buddy, can you spear a dose?"


            • McFlock

              Assuming that pans out,they might be able to keep their deaths down to half a million.

              But please, continue to whine about how bad this government and the previous government are compared to the USA response.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              Don't care how many times they've been vaccinated, if they're coming from countries such as the US or UK, with more than two active Covid-19 cases per 100 people, then I'll not be greeting them just yet – they can go into managed isolation like everyone else.

              But if you're volunteering then why not greet them with a firm handshake Alwyn, since you’re consistently reaching (out) laugh

              Vaccinations should be rolled out first where they'll do most good, imho. Just between you and me, I’ve heard that there’s a plan to roll out the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to NZ border workers later this month.


              • alwyn

                I assure you that I have no wish to see visitors coming here just because they have been vaccinated. Before we allow any unnecessary visitors in I want to see that everyone in New Zealand has had a vaccination. And unnecessary visitors includes people like Green MP RMM's BFF. Why did we let him in?

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Funny Alwyn. We’re all waiting our turn – how cool is that! But if you’re impatient, or it’s a matter of life and death, then you could book a holiday in Israel, the UAE, UK or US (those countries with the highest rates of Covid-19 vaccination). Personally, I’d rather be here.

          However, that joy was tempered by a warning from University of Otago immunologist Prof Frank Griffin that the illegal release of the virus would limit its chances of success.

          The combination of the virus being released in the wrong season, MAF efforts to contain the outbreak and the sporadic release of RCD could not add up to a worse scenario, he said.


        • Barfly

          Alwyn – 5 deaths per million of population – no community transmission …….

          Keep barking at that passing car Alwyn

          • fender

            Partisan people like Allwinge are constantly looking for something negative to moan about. Even when he gets his shot he'll complain that so-in-so told him the needle wasn't going to hurt at all, silly little pricks are just trumpish like that.

        • Ed1

          Whether we are at the front of the queue or not, we have the luxury of being able to wait, and now to be selective about which ones are used for different groups – a choice not available to those who had to accept the first available. I am delighted that we are able to see which will do best with which strains; which have the least harsh side-effects, etc. We are able to give priorities based on need rather than availability. We are lucky not to need to be injecting as fast as possible; and we are being good world citizens in letting some others that are more desperate 'benefit' from early supplies.

        • Sacha

          'Under-promise' is what the govt told the public via media over the last few weeks.

    • David 3.3

      Under promise? You’re kidding right. No need to go through the list of failed 2017 election promises yet again except to say under promising is certainly not one of this governments strong points.

    • Herodotus 3.4

      Perhaps the government will get also an idea of how wide spread poverty is, when they put into place planing to vaccinate all our elderly, then the remainder of the population.

      Those isolated or limited travel ability e.g. The homeless, The far North, East Cape etc. that find if difficult to travel to major centres on given days.

      And what proof is there for us to have, should travel require proof of receiving a vaccination – Will there be a register with all our names on it ?

  4. Adrian Thornton 4

    Interesting when the China "Debt Trap" was still a big thing in Western media, we all got bombarded with reports on the subject, but when some actual serious studies were done and debunked most of that narrative we got very little coverage of that (and from many sources , none)…makes you wonder…and if not maybe it should.

    Debunking the myth of China’s “debt-trap diplomacy”


    The myth of China’s ‘debt-trap diplomacy’


    Experts dispel claims of China debt-trap diplomacy in Pacific but risks remain


    • Ad 4.1

      Foreign debt to a single source and sovereignty risk profile are always worth tracking when you're a very small and/or very poor nation. Every country's arrangement with Chinese state institutions is different in circumstance and in impact.

      So a major international lender should always expect scrutiny and risk analysis. And generally they do.

      There was plenty of debate 10 years ago well attested by many authors about the role of the World Bank and its 'structural adjustment' loans. The World Bank of course doesn't own the second largest military in the world, nor is it run by an autocrat, nor is it aggressively taking marine territory, nor does it have an explicit plan for total world resource and logistics.

      Always great when risks don't work out, always necessary to track them.

  5. Jimmy 5

    Good that this lady has been captured and will now face justice.

    Note her name is Southern and the daughters name was Comfort!


  6. Sanctuary 6

    Do we need to start to talk about the impact of much longer life spans and gerontocracy is having on governance everywhere? Surely Mr. Mori's problem isn't so much his comments – they were acceptable back in his salad days in the 1980-90s – but rather that at the great age of 83 he is still supposedly heading up the organisation of the Olympic games?


    The US is also afflicted with ancient politicians, if Trump runs against Biden 2024 then it'll be an 82 year old vs a 78 year old.

    Should compulsory retirement from public office or large NGOs around 75 years old become a law? Or is that ageist?

    • Judges retire in NZ at 70….that seems to me to be the right age to retire from any public office.

      BTW, the person running the impeachment hearing is 80-WTF?

    • mac1 6.2

      Seriously, it should simply be a question of stamina and cognitive ability. Were that the criterion, many younger might fail…….(nominate your candidate here).

      In a lighter vein, retirement should be compulsory with age, says this 71 year-old, firstly because anyone who thinks they're so important that the country needs them to forgo retirement is not important; and secondly, people should be alert to the importance of retirement.

      Spending time with the kids, and the kids' kids; gardening and making compost (before their own time comes to biodegrade); learning a musical instrument; commenting on blogs; composing a slim volume of verse or writing the memoirs.

      • Sacha 6.2.1

        Yes, other ways to contribute. It is also a sign of trust and good faith to let following generations have their go at roles.

        • mac1

          Yes, other ways to contribute. I'm shortly off to play songs to a group of Alzheimers-affected people, singing the old songs that we know and love……. and remember.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 6.2.2

        Seriously, it should simply be a question of stamina and cognitive ability. Were that the criterion, many younger might fail…….(nominate your candidate here).

        Broadly agree – personally wouldn't want to be working past 65, let alone 70 or 80, but maybe needs must in some cases. And if you (are lucky enough to) love your work, and particularly if you (still) do it well, then why not. Fauci is 80.

        But I see too many over 70s 'voluntarily trapped' in work because they have few alternative interests/outlets; not everyone finds preparing for and then actual retirement easy. My maternal grandfather had worked his way up to a reasonably senior public service position. He did retirement hard and was allowed to return to work as an office gopher – died working. I admired and loved him, but feel fortunate not to have inherited that trait.

    • KSaysHi 6.3

      Why should retirement be compulsory when we know that after people retire they tend to go downhill?

      Watched that documentary on blue zones. Wasn't there a Dr in his 90s based in Loma Linda still working as a heart surgeon? My own memory is starting to drift

      • RedLogix 6.3.1

        Yup. It's essential to have purpose – and unless you've developed one independent of your 'career' by the time the ageists catch up with you and boot you out – then yes the decline sets in.

  7. Gabby 9

    Apparently more shares are now traded in Amsterdam than London. Taking back control starting to pay off bigtime.

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