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Open mike 12/06/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 12th, 2020 - 107 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 …

107 comments on “Open mike 12/06/2020”

  1. observer 1

    National MP Chris Penk has written an extraordinary "book" (in reality, an online rant) about the government's response to Covid-19.

    He has done a copy and paste from every discredited source he could find (Taxpayers' Union, former ACT MP Muriel Newman, Simon "Sweden" Thornley, Kiwiblog (!) etc).

    Too much nonsense to address in detail here, but the main point is that he has directly contradicted his own party leader. On his first day, Todd Muller described Ardern's handling of the crisis as "impressive", because they know they can't win by fighting public opinion at 90%. They really want to talk about something else.

    Nobody told Penk, it seems.

    • Molly 1.1

      This is not a mistake, it is the usual National tactic of covering all bases. 

      As long as one of them is saying it, then their party faithful who agree can be relied upon to support them. 

      In my opinion, the party faithful are pragmatic, they know that what is said in public is for public consumption, what matters is the intention behind.  And that is often very different. 

      • observer 1.1.1

        I disagree. Neale Jones sums it up.

        National had a smooth machine for so long that many on the left will assume that there must be a "cunning plan", that they always know what they are doing.

        It's often true. It isn't right now. This is definitely not the ground Muller wants to fight on.

    • Sanctuary 1.2

      Isn't Penk another member of the Rapture Right in National? Our big media outlets refuse to cover how much US-inspired fundamentalists have infiltrated the National party – but at the moment the only way to understand how inept they've suddenly become is to recognise the vanguardism of fundamentalist infiltration of the National party. But these people harbour some seriously loony beliefs and like their numbskull American hero in the White House, they get their information from Fox News.


      Generally speaking, I strongly support our media’s policy of regarding MPs private lives as off limits. But these evangelicals use their beliefs to inform radical policy positions well outside the mainstream of NZ life, so to to me that makes them open to discussion. After all, if you were an avowed revolutionary Marxist in the Labour caucus the Herald wouldn’t hesitate to tell the world about that. The last thing the country needs is to wake up the day after an election and then discover a 2 seat majority National + ACT government is being controlled by prosperity doctrine fundies who want to remake NZ in the image of Florida, because the MSM didn't think to mention it before the election.

      • greywarshark 1.2.1

        You have brought up a point worrying me Sanctuary.   There is evidence of deep conservative Catholicism in our politics, I think that the most prominent person is Bill English.    But how far has it gone through National – I think Jim Bolger is one.    Whether he was of the excessive level of preachiness or not, they must support each other of the same religion.    Also  the Exclusive Brethren has revealed itself to be helpful to National as being the best to serve their own interests.

        The various cults that have sprung up to make use of the tax-free status of religion are a worry as they undermine the democratic process of elevating individuals value and rights, and progressive moves to think for oneself and develop our own personality and life achievements.   It is hard to free oneself from the oppressive control as the cultish religions seek to contain individuals from make their own life, thoughtfully formed and seeking self-realisation and the good values of humanity. 

        (Note – Gloriavale is very close to Amish style;  very narrow and demanding as to personal freedom, and other cults marry their young ones off at say 17 years, and women can not develop wide skills to gain employment or have a career, as children and domestic life take precedence.)

        Taking away the tax-free status of churches and treating them as not-for-profit charities would be a big advantage in retaining our democracy and being able to make rational moves to cope with climate change, a better education so we have informed and actively involved citizens in politics.    A move to do this would uncover the depth and width that the semi-religious community has permeated our society, with results that do not lead to its well-being.

        • Patricia

          This removal of the  ' tax free status"  for religions is something I believe should happen. 

          It has often been used to push a particular point of view.  Who else can promulgate their ideas at no cost?

          I agree greywarshark… not an even playing field.

  2. joe90 2

    Oh dear…

  3. Tricledrown 3

    Ron Mark is even more stupid after 3 yrs in govt he thinks the police shouldn't be armed and their training with arms is substandard after years in opposition questioning the use of police using the AR 4.

    Heard of the 501's Ron the gangs are regularly being busted with large caches of guns including assault rifles.

    NZ first is desperately sabotaging to get over 5%


  4. Andre 4

    It's now becoming an open topic of conversation as to what to do if the DumpsterFuhrer refuses to leave when his time's up.


    I reckon it should be fairly easy to achieve peacefully. Just instruct the WH staff to ignore it when he presses his buttons summoning snacks and Diet Coke (btw, it's not working). Then after a couple of hours, send in a robot carrying hamberders and diet coke to loiter outside the Oval Office. When he starts coming for the bait, get the robot to lead him into a waiting limo. Sorted.

    • Ad 4.1

      The chilling moment for me isn't anything like that – I mean the Pentagon heads couldn't have been clearer in the last week that they will protect the constitution faaaaar deeper than they will protect this current White House occupant. 

      To me the issue is that Donald Trump still has a reasonable chance of winning a second term as President, and of retaining a majority of the Senate. 

      That's the moment that the global standing of the United States starts to disintegrate fast, and after that the glaciers of the United Nations, World Trade Organisation, UNESCO, International Monetary Fund, World Bank  et al really start to calve off. 

      It's not an unreasonable scenario to see a full and irreversible liquefaction of the structures that have sustained our relative peace and prosperity for decades.

      That's the kind of stuff that really matters to us weeny countries with no power.

    • Anne 4.2

      I was contemplating that likely scenario the other day and concluded the best way would be to lock him up inside the White house with no access to anything or anyone beyond its walls. When he finally goes troppo, they can remove him to an undisclosed location where he can remain in solitary confinement for the rest of his natural.

      Ahhhh… beautiful dreams.

  5. Sanctuary 5

    Fun fact: Chris Penk's dad was outed for running a letter writing campaign against assisted dying under a pseudonym and his brother runs the far right Maxim Institute. So yeah, we got a real set of bad eggs here.


    P.S. Auckland University has really become a hothouse for right wing cranks, hasn't it!

    • Ad 5.1

      You're not a crank because you're against the euthenasia bill. 

      It's a better bill than when it started, but it's still a pig.

      • Sanctuary 5.1.1

        Actually I will probably vote against the end of life bill in the referendum.

        What makes him a candidate for right wing crankery is the clearly disingenuous attempts to hoodwink the public with his letter writing campaign.

        • Bearded Git

          You must know whether you will vote for or against the bill Sanc-why the “probably”?

          • Sanctuary

            Because I can see both sides of this debate. At the moment, my thinking doesn't support voting in favour of this proposal, but I am still thinking about it.

      • Barfly 5.1.2

        Both my brothers died horribly from cancer I hope the bill passes so that I have the option to not suffer as much as they did.

        • Sanctuary

          I am sorry to hear that. I watched my father die of aggressive lung cancer, he was a whisp of the strong man I knew as a child at his end. We've all got our own stories. How we interpret them informs how we will vote, I guess. I just hope the debate doesn't become a rancorous culture war.

        • greywarshark

          It will be good if people with vote for euthanasia, controlled by good legal measures to ensure right behaviour all through.   All it needs is for people to consider other people's wishes and see that it is wise to have that option.    Being kind to other people will be of great importance in getting it through.    It should not require unhappy experiences to be the reason.    Accepting our human limit of time on this planet, and that it has been much extended by others who have improved health measures and have changed the pattern of earlier death, should enable us to make another rational change so that we can then decide when we want to pass on.   

          The changes made in the world have enabled longer and usually happier lives, though in NZ Maori have not had that full benefit.  Now we could have happier deaths if others would just give us that freedom instead of imprisoning us on the planet when that is no longer our choice, or forcing us to take unpleasant decisions if we are forced to an illegal step and commit suicide.   It is not fair or reasonable to refuse others their right to determine when and how they will die.

        • Cinny

          Strongly agree with you Barfly.

        • Patricia

          Yes Barfly.  My Aunt had to go to hell and back with lung cancer.  I know what I believe.  We help animals,  yet let humans suffer. It should be a choice.

    • Sanctuary 6.1

      Right, so where will this end? Shall we bulldoze the Savage memorial because he supported the British Empire? How about Truby King, the founder of Plunket? He was a eugenicist who had fairly strong views on the genetic superiority of the British people – should we demolish his mausoleum? How about Marx, should his grave have hs statue on it? Communism killed millions! Should the British destroy all memorials to Clement Attlee, on the grounds of his appalling behaviour in Britain’s African colonies? What about statues of Winston Churchill? Personally I find the current fashion of vilification of James Cook by the left painfully cartoonish and utterly bereft of context. Should I stand by while monuments to probably the greatest navigator of any age (and an enlightened man by the standards of his time) be puled down by hooting mobs of ignoramuses?

      Practically ANY statue in NZ erected in the last 150+ years will upset someone. How about we just not go a route of a ridiculous culture war over inanimate objects, that will only ultimately hurt the progressive cause in NZ?

      • RedLogix 6.1.2

        Yup. Presentism.

        In literary and historical analysis, presentism is the anachronistic introduction of present-day ideas and perspectives into depictions or interpretations of the past. Some modern historians seek to avoid presentism in their work because they consider it a form of cultural bias, and believe it creates a distorted understanding of their subject matter. The practice of presentism is regarded by some as a common fallacy when writing about the past.

        But yes … hooting mobs of ignorami will prevail for the moment. City Councillors who appease these calls are probably not fools, they know in private that pulling down old statues is stupid, but most people will do anything for an easy life. When the mob labels you 'racist' people get sacked and cancelled. So down they will come.

      • Adrian 6.1.3

        Exactly, lets only make history about what happened since the last change of ideology.

      • McFlock 6.1.4

        It ends where where the evil that was interr'd with their bones doesn't outweigh the good that lives after them, in the eyes of the people.

      • swordfish 6.1.5


        Personally I find the current fashion of vilification of James Cook by the left painfully cartoonish

        They're not the Left … they're Intersectionals … entirely different kettle of fish.

        I see the Woke as a small but highly influential Cult centred within segments of both the New Middle Professional Class & the Upper-Middle Class (amazing just how many are descended from old Establishment families … Auckland Business Elites & South Island Rural Gentry) … attempting to hi-jack the Left … by massively downplaying the centrality of socio-economic disparity while simultaneously comandeering traditional Left moral concerns … racism & so on … then grossly distorting & weaponizing those concerns (with the help of their Gurus like Bishop DiAngelo …. or does she call herself Archbishop now ?)  – some are dogmatic true-believers, others are the bully-boys we know all too well on NZ social media … focussed in large part on pursuing their own power & self-interest … albeit assiduously dressed up with this thin veneer of (LOL)  "self-less Altruism".

        Bad Actors playing Saints. Personal power & prestige enhancement.

      • gsays 6.1.6

        While I agree with the vibe of yr comment, the notion Cook was the greatest navigator of any age, seems to be a whitewashing of history.

        The Pacifica  navigators that got here before Cook did so without tools at his disposal.

        • McFlock

          Cook conflicts me. Probably more than a bit because I'm the son of a Yorkshireman 🙂

          He was a great sailor and navigator, and advanced human knowledge (not just European – the actual observation of the transit of venus was a pretty difficult technical task given the optics of the day). But he was also responsible for a lot of bad shit. but then he was also quite progressive for the day, and I did hear a thing on RNZ ages ago that reckoned his behaviour on the third voyage showed all the signs of mental exhaustion and breakdown. So… complicated. Certainly not "good", but not fucking NB Forrest.

          Churchill is a more extreme cause of ambivalence – a complete colonialist prick who gassed civilians and viewed hunting down Irish rebels almost as a game. But without him, Hitler could well have won.

          No answers here – torn both ways.

          • francesca

            About the only honest response you can have

            No reason why he shouldn't be celebrated in his own place of birth though .

            Maybe the important thing when looking at a statue of Cook could be , because of him my forebears came to NZ and could have a better life.At the expense of my other forebears.(referring to myself.)We all have a problematic history we need to be aware of

            • RedLogix

              If we determine to visit the punishment for the sins of the fathers on generations of the sons, then everything gets torn down. Or at the very least, nothing is immune to the force of that argument.

              And as can be easily seen, all cultures have problematic, traumatic history, there is probably no human alive who doesn't have some ancestors who benefited from invasion, slavery and genocide.

              But the phrase "Black Lives Matter" is an overloaded message carrying multiple layers of meaning. One of which is it's really only the sins of white people that matter. Everyone else is excused.

              • McFlock

                I mean, we could just have pretty thorough discussions about whether we have lots of statues to fathers who sinned, but keep pushing that barrow. Not even NASCAR agrees with you.

                • RedLogix

                  Well I'd be a lot more convinced if BLM demonstrated the same anguish over the 5000 – 6000 blacks who kill each other annually, and the fact that blacks are 52% of all homicide perpetrators than the relative handful of unarmed black victims at the hands of the police … black and white:

                  Police officers are too often overarmed, undertrained, and low on empathy. Some police officers are surely racist and act like it. But it does not follow that white cops routinely kill black people in tense situations out of racist animus. This scenario may seem plausible—I believed it until only a few years ago. But there are times when facts are counterintuitive, and it is important to get the facts right and to analyze them with clear eyes and a clear mind (the enlightening work of criminologist and ex-cop Peter Moskos is helpful in this regard). Rhetoric has a way of straying from reality, and to get where we all want to go, it is reality that we must address.

                  • Morrissey

                    So the Black Lives Matter protestors don't experience anguish over black violence? What evidence do you have to back up that remarkable allegation? 


                  • McFlock

                    I'm not convinced you'd ever be convinced beyond your limitless whataboutism..

                    • Morrissey

                      "Whataboutism"—another contribution to philosophical discourse, courtesy of the doomed Hillary Clinton campaign. 

                      Also see “Russian bots”, “Russian masterminds”, “Steele Dossier”, “Luke Harding”, “resistance”.

                    • Morrissey

                      No, the actual term "whataboutism" and its equally witless variant "whataboutery" appeared in the last three and a half years. It was, and is still, used as a strategy—a failed strategy— to derail those people impertinent enough to point out that Democrats, especially those in the Clinton/Schumer/Pelosi faction that controls the party, have a history of racism and militarism and voter suppression as vile as the Republicans, and that the United States has not even the slightest moral right to criticise any country for interference in elections of another jurisdiction.

                    • The Al1en

                      Jeebus mate, MF even did the homework and provided you with a link. 50+ years old and not a Clinton in sight.

                    • Morrissey

                      The tu quoque diversion tactic is as old as the hills. The desperate and unconvincing "whataboutery" word is as old as…. Russiagate. And just as intellectually rigorous.

                      By the way, fifty years ago, a young Bill Clinton was indeed in sight—if you were at Oxford University, where the Rhodes “Scholar”—to use that word in the most generous and indulgent sense possible—-was a forlorn and by all accounts horribly unsuccessful suitor to dozens of young English women.

                    • RedLogix

                      OK let's go back to the core BLM grievance, that racist white police are mass murdering blacks at a rate far higher than whites.

                      The question is what rate comparison are they using?

                      From the stats linked to for 2019 show a total of 634 office involved shootings. On a simple population basis

                      58% of deaths are white, yet non-Hispanic whites comprise 53% of the population.

                      37% of deaths are black, yet non-Hispanic blacks comprise 14% of the population.

                      This is the basis for the BLM claim that racist police kill blacks at a rate 2 -3 times higher than whites.

                      Yet obviously this is a dubious claim. People do not come into contact with the police at random, especially not in contexts of homicide and/or armed violence when police are very likely to respond with deadly force:

                      According to the US Department of Justice, African Americans accounted for 52.5% of all homicide offenders from 1980 to 2008, with Whites 45.3% and "Other" 2.2%. The offending rate for African Americans was almost eight times higher than Whites, and the victim rate six times higher. Most homicides were intraracial, with 84% of White victims killed by Whites and 93% of African American victims killed by African Americans

                      On this basis the simple rate comparisons above change to this:

                      58% of deaths are white, yet non-Hispanic whites commit 48% of the homicides.

                      37% of deaths are black, yet non-Hispanic blacks commit 52% of the homicides

                      On this basis the outcome is completely flipped, it looks like blacks are actually less likely to be shot by the police than whites. Have BLM sold the world a complete crock of shit?

                      In reality the truth is likely to be somewhere between these two highly simplified views. Many other factors can be introduced and the entire conversation is way more complex than one comment can possibly cover, but the more you look at the data the more McWhorter's conclusion looks to be pretty much on the money. 

                      (This analysis is no substitute for a proper multi-factorial study, but I introduced one the other night, and no-one could be arsed reading it.)

                    • Morrissey

                      Blacks are less likely to be shot by police than whites, you say? I suggest you ring up NewstalkZB, where there are people who are prepared to listen to such raving lunacy without laughing.


                    • McFlock

                      Using murder convictions as a proxy for contact with police to explain that systemic racism doesn't exist is more stupid than literally cut&pasting massive straw man arguments from a right-wing propaganda platform to do the same.

                    • RedLogix

                      murder convictions as a proxy for contact with police to explain that systemic racism doesn't exist

                      I'm using murder convictions are a proxy for the likelihood of a particular ethnicity coming into contact with the police, and if that contact goes badly sideways, the possibility of being shot.

                      After all you still have no answer as to why the male 50% of the population are more than 95% of the police deaths. If population was the correct proxy then you would expect equal numbers of men and women to be killed regardless of ethnicity … but this is obviously not the case. Clearly the different rates of committing violent crime between the sexes is a highly relevant factor.

                      Yet BLM have used population as their sole proxy to convince the world there is a massive problem with systemic racism in the USA.

                    • McFlock

                      I'm using murder convictions are a proxy for the likelihood of a particular ethnicity coming into contact with the police. 

                      After all you still have no answer as to why the male 50% of the population are more than 95% of the police deaths. If population was the correct proxy then you would expect equal numbers of men and women to be killed regardless of ethnicity … but this is obviously not the case.

                      "The correct proxy". 🙄

                      So in search of "the correct proxy" you latch onto another product determined by the bias of the system accused of bias.

                      As for your digression, any explanation of the role of ethnicity and toxic masculinity in a disfunctional society would have to involve a certain amount of intersectionality, and you've repeatedly shown you can't deal with that concept and frankly I have neither the time, inclinition, cache, or words small enough to explain it to you.

                      Especially when your straw men are big enough to be set fire to by a bunch of hippies at the end of a drugfest.

                    • McFlock

                      Frankly, the thought of discussing gender and ethnicity with you at the same time is the fucking definition of futility.

                    • RedLogix

                      The theory of intersectionality, now widely embraced by activists, maintains that non-whites, women, and LGBT individuals face systemic oppression whose scope increases according to the number of minority statuses a person holds.

                      The fewer boxes you check (straight white men don’t check any) the more “privilege” you are deemed to possess. This privilege, which now serves as a sort of intersectional mark of original sin, is invoked to justify silencing any view you disagree with.

                      It may once have been an useful academic tool in some specialised contexts, but once it escaped into the wild the cult it morphed into something quite different.

                      So in search of "the correct proxy" you latch onto another product determined by the bias of the system accused of bias.

                      Which is why you have to do a proper multi-factorial analysis, but I've already shown there is no point in introducing that.

                    • McFlock

                      whatever, dude. Quibbling about the denominator tends to make your calls for further research looks like just another tactic to delay accepting the evidence repeatedly caught on camera.

                    • McFlock

                      I'm glad that you now know how to search for videos (and even filter out inconvenient search results). Only a few days ago you thought the ability to link to a relevant video was a sign of obsession with the topic.

                      In another 50 years you might even be "woke".

                    • RedLogix

                      On the contrary, I was merely responding to your suggestion about 'evidence repeatedly caught on camera'. 

                      And judging by your flippant demeanor it would appear these white lives really didn't matter to you … and certainly not to any of the thousands of protesters tearing the USA apart right now on the basis of a lie.

                    • McFlock

                      The ego you have to assume that someone's attitudes to you somehow reflects their attitudes on anything other than you is absolutely trumpian.


          • Morrissey

            But without him, Hitler could well have won.

            ???? I think that if you did a little serious reading, you might find that the Russians were the decisive factor in the defeat of Hitler.

            • McFlock

              I think you'll find hitler might have taken moscow (and Stalin) if he was fighting a one-front war with no arctic convoys supplying the Soviets.

              Wasn’t it something like 12km?

              • RedLogix

                Yes WW2 was altogether a lot closer than we imagine. 

                The same applies in the Desert War, that was an extremely close run thing as well.

                The same applies in the Battle of the Atlantic. Churchhill at one point had determined to surrender within two weeks, but several last moment technical developments persuaded him not to.

                This doesn't take away from the fact that the Russian people sacrificed an entire generation of men on the Eastern front and in doing so crushed the bulk of the German army.

              • SPC

                12km … It could also be argued that the delay to the start of the campaign (because the Italians could not take Greece) was a factor. 

                But for mine the German problem was they could not take cities heavily defended – that would have applied to Moscow as with Leningrad and Stalingrad. 

                The Stuka and Panzer tag team stumbled against anti-tank and air defence concentrations. When the Russians could take this scenario out into the field – Kursk it was all over.

                The Maginot Line might have worked, if the Germans were not able to go around it.

                • McFlock

                  Even if they just laid seige to Moscow, that would have hindered the resupply that got through to Leningrad. And without UK/US supplies coming through Murmansk (because UK surrendered and didn't run the convoys), Leningrad falls. Which frees up the northern thrust to assist one of the other groups (oil or Moscow).

                  All because the guy who was PM at the time of Dunkirk chose to accept the advice around him and offer terms. Very few periods in history rest on one person's decision and character like that.

          • gsays

            The conflict you describe is something I sort of struggle with in regards to artists.

            Josh Homme, IMO, is one of the best guitarists, vocalists and songwriters going round at the moment. Great body of work and a fantastic collaborator (PJ Harvey, Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones, Lady Gaga, Iggy Pop).

            But there are many stories of him being a total arse of a person. Kicking a photographer in he mouth, tipping the rider table over backstage…


            Spike Milligan, comic genius with occasional racist and anti-semite streaks through his work….

      • Patricia 6.1.7

        We should commission statues to commemorate Maori events as well. Ask Maori artists in each region to design and produce sculptures of famous members from their area….just saying.

      • Morrissey 6.1.8

        … hooting mobs of ignoramuses…

        That's a bit of an ironic statement, coming just after you have damned others for "painfully cartoonish" vilification.

        I'm also uneasy about this move to pull down statues, but I recognise that the protestors are serious and moral thinkers. "Hooting mobs of ignoramuses" applies to certain groups, such as those thugs who gathered in Hamilton last year to heap abuse on the gypsy tourists. It does not apply to demonstrators that you don't approve of them.


  6. Sanctuary 7

    White privilege in action example #45,981,098:


    TBH, I struggle to summon up a huge amount of sympathy for someone complaining that their two week all expenses paid, all meals supplied, break in the Crowne Plaza doesn't give them a lot of exercise opportunity – let alone put it on the front page of the Herald.

    Middle class snowflake syndrome, with a huge helping of white privilege. 

    • Adrian 7.1

      Talk about entitlement and "freezing cold " , in AUCKLAND ? . Oh for fucksake, ship her off to do some grape pruning in Central Otago to teach her some humility.

    • Incognito 7.2

      You sound a little cranky yourself this morning.

    • ianmac 7.3

      She was given a platform on Morning Report today as well. She has a sort of "Don't You Know who I Am!" quality about her. Poor little muppet.

    • Wayne 7.4

      Middle Class snowflake maybe, but why is it also "white privilege"? 

      • vto 7.4.1

        but lower class and upper class in particular are also snowflakes… why always pick on the middle class? sign of poor and confused thinking i think


        • gsays

          I like to use the middle class term to describe the aspirational, stand on the poor, often self-employed members of the precariat. 

          Those that are just one month or one contract away from falling amongst those that they so readily dismiss.

          • vto

            such a wide term then, "middle class" for such a narrow and particular sub-group "aspirational, stand on the poor, often self-employed, one month away from disaster"…

            … exactly as I said gsays "sign of poor and confused thinking"

            How many of the middle class would fit into your category gsays? Maybe 1%. 5% perhaps. 20% tops maybe? Don’t be so disparaging of the vast majority of our population mr bigot

            • gsays

              Judging by the amount of votes the Nats and act get, the number  is way over 20%.

              The reaction and dumping of Metira Turei showed the 'Me first and the gimmee gimmee' attitude is common amongst us.

              Greed or unwillingness to share is one of the biggest challenges we face.


              "Don’t be so disparaging of the vast majority of our population mr bigot" Irony much.

      • mac1 7.4.2

        Wayne, maybe, (I don't know 'cos I'm Pākehā), it's because the lady in question has such issues for her major problem/s,  and non-whites have  generally somewhat larger issues with which to contend.

        I was reading a bit in the paper in which the issue of the death of fictional character, Tony Soprano, was being discussed.

        Elsewhere, meanwhile, while I comfortably sit on my patio with my mid-morning coffee eying the news and weather……….. meanwhile, the world continues to dump unimaginable grief and harm and injustice on others because they are ‘other’.

        At times like this I am reminded of my childhood, envying a boy at school who had tomato sauce sandwiches while I had ham, walnut and marmite, cheese and tomato. That wasn't white priviege. That was poverty.

        Two things.  I didn't know then what poverty was like. Secondly, it's analogous- my privilege as the son of a grocer, hence the ham sandwiches, and the privilege of having not to worry about the effects of racial stereotyping, bigotry and hatred.

        Learning empathy would help us all.

        At primary school I was bullied. The boy who backed me against the rest of the class-mates knew about empathy. He was mocked for his hair style, a 'pudding bowl', cut by his mother as a result of poverty.

        I see the connection.

    • WeTheBleeple 7.5

      But she got dizzy walking in circles, poor dear.

    • Sabine 7.6

      well if we can provide prisoners with an hour of exercise we should be able to do this with people in quarantine.. i don't see the issue. 

      Like, i don't see why they can not have an hour outside – why this can not be organised – heck why this actually has not been implemented already. 

      Considering that this is an ongoing thing now for the forseeable future, i don't understand why 'outside time' has not been considered, planned for and is available to these guys. 

      But then yelling snow flake and 'middle class snowflake syndrome with a huge helping of white privilege' is just easier then admitting that locking up people in a room for 14 days with no 'outside' time would be considered cruel and inhumane treatment where this someone locked up in a prison. 


      • weka 7.6.1

        I tend to agree. Maybe she is full of her own entitlement too, but nevertheless having to stay in one room for 14 days would be challenging for many. Personally I'd find having to eat catered food for two weeks hard. I hope they're doing better about the exercise for families with kids.

  7. WeTheBleeple 8

    Welcome to CHAZ – the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone

    Protesters in Seattle have claimed around six city blocks and declared it a free zone. Police may enter for emergencies only. Trump is pissed, I am intrigued.

    Having established territory, upon proving they are organised, and capable of committing war crimes of their own – the protesters may be in a position to use the Geneva convention to start charging the GOP and Police with war crimes?

    This process may take years, and Trump may kill many people in the interim, but what else can one do in the face of overwhelming stupidity might?

    I do think Trump's lost face hiding in his bunker, and his dingbat followers may have lost faith in his support after getting arrested for threatening protesters with chainsaw, longbow and bicycle shorts. But he's capable of anything, and would love to institute martial law. 

    The protests are far from over, just quieter, and global. I am rooting for the citizens of CHAZ to bring The Hague down on Slump's redneck racist ass.

  8. lebleaux 9

    This is what Labour said before the 2017 election:

    “The Government claims it’s not safe to enter the drift and try to get any bodies in there out. That’s not true. Experts, both local and international, say the mine is now stable. We can get those men out, and secure evidence regarding the cause of the explosion. It can be done.

    The National Government just wants to wash its hands of the whole thing, and move on. They don’t seem to care no-one has ever faced court for those 29 deaths, or that the families have never got the bodies back to bury.

    That’s not the way Kiwis do things. We do right by people. We ensure that, when there is wrongdoing, there is justice. We keep our promises.”



    Oooops !!!!!!!



    • Incognito 9.1

      Looks to me like you’re simply trolling here or the ‘oops’ meant that you submitted your comment in accident. Which one is it? You remind me of Judith Collins and I get irritated easily when that happens.

    • McFlock 10.1

      I second that "ouch" with a "ewww – bubbles? How bubbles?"

    • miravox 10.2


      I spend far too much time thinking about covid-19 chronic lung disease might be seen in the years down track. I wonder if the countries that have been overwhelmed by the pandemic have a plan in place for managing the resultant chronic illness (if any). Could be expensive. 

      • Sabine 10.2.1

        yes, had this discussion with the bloke. How many times do you need to get it before it gets you – our guess 3 – 5 years. So if the disease will continue running unfettered and is capable of infecting people more then once the worlds population could take a hit in about 3 – 5 years. 

        I am so happy i am not a young person trying to start life as an adult in the current shitshow. 

  9. joe90 11

    The banks have done it again.


    After months of living with the coronavirus pandemic, American citizens are well aware of the toll it has taken on the economy: broken supply chains, record unemployment, failing small businesses. All of these factors are serious and could mire the United States in a deep, prolonged recession. But there’s another threat to the economy, too. It lurks on the balance sheets of the big banks, and it could be cataclysmic. Imagine if, in addition to all the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, you woke up one morning to find that the financial sector had collapsed.


    To prevent the next crisis, Congress in 2010 passed the Dodd-Frank Act. Under the new rules, banks were supposed to borrow less, make fewer long-shot bets, and be more transparent about their holdings. The Federal Reserve began conducting “stress tests” to keep the banks in line. Congress also tried to reform the credit-rating agencies, which were widely blamed for enabling the meltdown by giving high marks to dubious CDOs, many of which were larded with subprime loans given to unqualified borrowers. Over the course of the crisis, more than 13,000 CDO investments that were rated AAA—the highest possible rating—defaulted.

    The reforms were well intentioned, but, as we’ll see, they haven’t kept the banks from falling back into old, bad habits. After the housing crisis, subprime CDOs naturally fell out of favor. Demand shifted to a similar—and similarly risky—instrument, one that even has a similar name: the CLO, or collateralized loan obligation. A CLO walks and talks like a CDO, but in place of loans made to home buyers are loans made to businesses—specifically, troubled businesses. CLOs bundle together so-called leveraged loans, the subprime mortgages of the corporate world. These are loans made to companies that have maxed out their borrowing and can no longer sell bonds directly to investors or qualify for a traditional bank loan. There are more than $1 trillion worth of leveraged loans currently outstanding. The majority are held in CLOs.

    http://archive.li/sckLP (The Atlantic)

  10. joe90 12

    Loud and clear.


  11. observer 13

    I'm no master political strategist, but I'd have thought that an opposition party desperately looking for votes could find more productive ideas than "let's immediately open the borders and bring in hundreds of international students to central Auckland, and stick them in quarantine, while there are reports right now of quarantine in central Auckland not working properly".

    Repeat: "immediately".

    National's "plan", announced today


    • Cricklewood 13.1

      Hmm if we were to believe the current daily  figures out of China we should be looking to open up a 'bubble' very shortly… 

      Of course if you believe those figures, I've got a very nice bridge going cheap…

  12. Grafton Gully 15

    Removing statues of non-indigenous historical figures and putting them together somewhere as a theme park would be better than just getting rid of them.  Like Coronation Park in India, but with more emphasis on the tourist dollar.


    • Morrissey 15.1

      Brilliant! Put Captain Hamilton and the rest of those anti-heroes in to a Kiwi version of Mme Tussaud's Chamber of Horrors.  

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