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Open mike 12/09/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 12th, 2021 - 116 comments
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116 comments on “Open mike 12/09/2021 ”

  1. Jenny how to get there 1

    Covid-19: Auckland business owners 'hit harder' than previous lockdowns

    Nathan Morton – Stuff.co.nz, Sep 11 2021


    Is it time yet for a 1930s style Mortgage Moratorium?

    Or, to save small businessess, and up against it home owners, should we pack it in and let the virus rip?

    …..by 1931, it was clear that further intervention was necessary to prevent widespread foreclosures and mortgagee sales.
    1936 as successive governments tried to cope with the worsening crisis…..

    ….Although mortgage relief was frequently discussed at some length by contemporary commentators, and by some historians in the 1950s and 1960s, it has been relegated to a few lines at most in more recent works.'

    The Mortgagors and Tenants Further Relief
    Act, 1932, gave new rights to mortgagors. Whereas, previously, mortgagors could seek relief only when they were directly threatened by mortgagee action, they could now apply for relief independently of any action taken by a mortgagee.

    This Act also extended to lessees the same protection that had been granted to mortgagors,,


    • Treetop 1.1

      A business relies on people buying their product or needing their service.

      When there is a crisis people tend to restrict what they purchase or use a service when it is really needed.

      Is New Zealand in a recession due to Covid?

      • Foreign waka 1.1.1

        Most likely and all because we had a travel bubble. Seems that everything has a price.

        • Jenny how to get there

          Foreign waka

          12 September 2021 at 9:14 am

          …..Seems that everything has a price.

          The definition of a capitalist is someone who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.

          At the Macro Level;

          At lockdown level 3 & 4 lockdown, the banks are still demanding their pound of flesh. While our accounts are being drained by the banks, the population with severely curtailed freedom of movement, peoples and businesses and livelyhoods and ability to earn an income is on hold . The free flow of capital offshore to our foreign owned banks is completely unimpeded. Meanwhile everyone else's accounts, (including the government's) are being drained.

          At the Micro level;

          This morning at 9am two men wearing bandanas and not proper masks were at my garden gate demanding to entry into my yard to pick up my garden bag.

          During the last level 4 & 3 lockdowns, and for weeks after, my garden bag was not collected for months, (despite the fact that it was over flowing). In fact I heard that the garden bag company was very close to being ruined and on the verge of going out of business.

          Magically, this time around collecting grass clippings and garden waste is an essential service.

          You've got to be kidding me. This is not an essential service.

          And this not the only medium to small company that I know is operating as if there is no lockdown. I personally know of three others. Friends and and extended family members have told me that they have been called back to work. When last time they were ordered to stay at home on the government wage subsidy.

          Obviously the government wage subsidy is not enough to keep these small companies viable during repeated lockdowns.

          If the government are not to abandon their elimination strategy, if lockdowns are not to become farcical. The banks need to be ordered to do their share.

          P.S Now I can understand that this company's existence and the jobs of its workers are at stake here, but so is public health.

          Meanwhile, here I am hunkering down like a fool, trying to do my civic duty and barely leaving the house.

          It may have 'Green' in its name, but I will cancelling my subscription to this service.

          Everything has a price. Their price is my custom.

      • Jenny how to get there 1.1.2

        It is not just businesses that need relief.

        Auckland City Mission Food Parcel Services Breaks Record

        September 10, 2021

        Press Release – Auckland City Mission

        With the level 4 lockdown continuing in Auckland – the Auckland City Mission/Te Tāpui Atawhai is reporting a regrettable record.

        Since this lockdown began, the Mission, with its partners, has distributed more than 6000 food parcels to Aucklanders needing support….

        …..Missioner Helen Robinson says COVID-19 is once again highlighting the increasing incidence of food insecurity and its long-reaching effects in our country.

        “Every day we help people who cannot otherwise adequately provide for their families. The demand is even greater than the previous lockdowns,” says Robinson. “People who have not fully recovered from the last lockdown had just been coping. This latest level four change has left many more people no option than to request support such as a food parcel so they can put food on the table.”


        A moratorium on rents and mortgages for the period of the lockdown would eliminate food insecurity, and make the lockdown more bearable for tens of thousands of struggling families and small businesses.

        It is not like our foreign owned banks can't afford it. They take $3.5 billion out of the country every year.

        • Treetop

          Food insecurity and high mortgage and rental costs are not just a lockdown problem. Lockdown makes these costs worse.

          There is the pre Covid world and the post Covid world. I feel that the full impact of Covid has not yet occurred economically. With some luck there is not a worse variant than Delta to manage.

          • Jenny how to get there

            If anything could earn this government the love of the farmers, it would be a nationwide Moratorium on Mortgages for the period of the crisis. it would certainly undercut farmers support for the right wing 'Groundswell" movement and the National Party. Which would give a big boost to the government's poll ratings.

            Not that they should do it for that reason.

            The thing is if you are going to lock down a population you should do it, because it is the right thing to do.

  2. Gezza 2

    I've posted before about the civilian casualties (a family of 10, including children) of this Pentagon-claimed "righteous strike" against a 2nd suicide bomber in Kabul during the evacuations.

    A New York Times investigation has now established that the Reaper drone operator that followed the car for hours likely mis-read what he or she was seeing & that the "bomber" was a completely innocent man going about his normal daily business.


    • Adrian Thornton 2.1

      Thanks for posting that Gezza, and strangely enough it is the notorious Daily Mail who have given this story the most coverage out of all MSM as far as I can make out…well not strange really, they are are also are the best MSM outlet when it comes to coverage of Assange and Epstein.

      'They are so burned we cannot identify their bodies': Grieving relatives' fury over US drone strike targeting ISIS-K that killed six children, including two toddlers aged 2, and four adults


      Of course the cost of 9/11 to the Afghan people is rarely mentioned…

      • Adrian Thornton 2.1.1

        Costs of War Project

        As of April 2021, more than 71,000 Afghan and Pakistani civilians are estimated to have died as a direct result of the war.

        The United States military in 2017 relaxed its rules of engagement for airstrikes in Afghanistan, which resulted in a massive increase in civilian casualties.

        The CIA has armed and funded Afghan militia groups who have been implicated in grave human rights abuses and killings of civilians.


        Afghan land is contaminated with unexploded ordnance, which kills and injures tens of thousands of Afghans, especially children, as they travel and go about their daily chores.

        The war has exacerbated the effects of poverty, malnutrition, poor sanitation, lack of access to health care, and environmental degradation on Afghans’ health.

      • Gezza 2.1.2

        Yes. Doesn't take long on google to find various organisations that have investigated & counted the thousands of innocent people killed by US missile-armed Predator & Reaper drone strikes around different conflict zones. The US military basically doesn't follow up.

        There have even been several cases reported where they've made a claim to have assassinated a particular target, only to discover later they got someone else, sometimes a probable militant, other times someone completely innocent.

        Their "collateral damage" toll is eye-watering & shameful & never gets covered in their (or our) media.

        And Biden's administration is talking up their intention to maintain this "over-the-horizon capability" to strike at terrorists in Afghanistan & elsewhere. 😠

        • Gabby

          It's ok though, because the act of being murdered by a yankistani drone makes you a terrorist.

          • Gezza

            The Russians & Israelis are just as bad.

            The Russians say they are helping defend the legitimate government of Syria against terrorists & just don't talk about civlians murdered in their joint, savage attacks on medical centres & towns.

            And the Israelis remain totally unconcerned about the grossly disproportionate civilian death tolls in their routinely savage reprisals against Hamas & Islamic Jihad unguided rocketing of Israel. They know the world's media's not really looking on any more & that the US will veto any meaningful Security Council punishment.

            But neither of these two maintain the pretence that the US constantly does that they are defending the free world with precision "surgical strikes” that are assiduously studied beforehand, & only launched when they have definitively identified a terrorist target in a zone where they always avoid civilian casualties.

      • Gezza 2.1.3

        Reaper (& the earlier, smaller Predator) drones are usually armed with Hellfire mssiles. This a very brief Military Reaper promo (I've avoided selecting one of the many available YouTube videos of actual strikes on real human targets).

        Just from the practice strikes in here you can see how using these damned things kills so many innocent bystanders or passers-by that come onto the scene once the bloody thing's launched.

        Using them in narrow city streets is criminal.

  3. aom 3

    A 9/11 essential read for anyone who thinks NZ should countenance the self-appointed "world policeman" or for those who need an alternative view of the US consensus that is blithely picked up by the MSM and has shaped the decades since prior to the Vietnam war.

    • Gezza 3.1


      I think I was watching a rare live broadcast of the burning North tower on tv1 on my little black & white tv on a shelf in the kitchen when the 2nd 757 hit the South tower.

      I remember thinking, my god. Someone has got straight through the defences of the most powerful militarised country, the ONLY global superpower, in the world, by using their hubris & their own civilian technology in a major trojan horse attack on the American mainland.

      Also, while pained at the thoughts of the last moments of the horrified defenceless passengers & occupants of the towers, I thought, detachedly, that this was a stunning feat of arms.

      Shock & awe, from a small number of Islamic militants outraged at infidel America's presence & actions in Muslim lands.

      • Johnr 3.1.1

        Whilst the 9/11 attacks were horrendous. The death, destruction and invasion of sovereign lands killing 100s of thousands of innocent people far outweighs the brutality of twin towers. So much so that I find it very hard to have any sympathy for US citizens.

        Two wrongs have never ever made a right

        • Gezza

          The US military left their huge military bases in Saudi Arabia after the UN-authorised & Arab-govt-supported first Gulf War (Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait) because the Saudi population was becoming so vocally opposed to their arrogant infidel culturally-offensive presence in the Muslims' holiest land the Saudi Royal Family got really concerned about a possible general revolt if they didn't tell them to go.

          It seems to be only when the US service personnel body bag count starts to rise into the thousands that the US public & politicians begin to seriously demand answers as to why their sons & daughters are even fighting in these far-off countries.

          The US Military response to the body bag problem has been to develop & utilise stand-off capability as much as possible. It reduced the body count significantly. As well as the disastrous idea of using private security contractors (mercenaries, by anybody else's definition) post-invasions in Iraq – so any losses in those cases didn't officially count as US Military corpses & other casualties.

          Their armed Reaper drone programme has taken this to such an extreme I think I've read somewhere that US Reaper operators based in the US itself are now also able to fly some assassination missions in far off countries.

          As I've noted, Biden & co have said several times since their panicked Kabul evacuation scramble that they intend to utilise their "Over-the-Horizon capability" to strike at IS & other terrorists in Afghanistan.

          This stand-off capability insulates the US public far too much from the reality of what really happens to the locals in their far-flung wars. And reporters on the ground are either not permitted – or just not safely able – to report the daily horrors – as they did in the Vietnam war.

          One further, major worry is that the US – and Russia, & China – are reported to be going hell-for-leather developing & testing autonomous stand-off attack UAVs including AI-equipped armed drones – potentially taking even the current human remote pilot last-minute MISSILE ABORT capability away.

  4. Andre 4

    Here's a simple easy to read explainer of what's happening to extend the Pfizer vaccine to 5 – 11 year olds.


    It's looking likely the US will give an emergency use authorisation towards the end of the year. Depending on how our current outbreak plays out and how our approval authorities view the data, we too might start vaccinating all our school-age kids late this year to early next year. Maybe even in time for the start of school next year.

    • Treetop 4.1

      I had my first Covid jab a week ago. Just some pins and needles in the arm where I had the jab for about 30 mins and mild pain in the arm for a couple of hours 6 hours after. The mast cell activation and GAVE which I have made me vaccine hesitant, I over came this. A grandchild age 12 had the Covid jab on the same day. All went well.

      • Patricia Bremner 4.1.1

        Pleased for you Treetop. When one has other conditions it is a cause of anxiety. Our son in Australia, and a number of his Dr's patients, have had severe headaches after Astra Zeneca. He also knows someone who has had covid and says this is a small price to pay, as after the second dose this side effect goes according to the Dr.

        • Treetop

          I stayed for an hour after the jab just to be sure as a relative could not make it as planned. Usually anything medical does not faze me (tubes/injections).

          I had a good laugh to myself post the jab, a man stood up and his track pants were so loose, half of his back side was exposed. He was seated 2 meters directly in front of me with his back facing me.

          I would like to know what sort of antibodies I make.

    • Rosemary McDonald 4.2

      [comment deleted in full.

      You need to respond to this: https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-01-09-2021/#comment-1813086 – Incognito]

      • Incognito 4.2.1

        See my Moderation note @ 9:40 am.

        • Rosemary McDonald
          1. As I have already said…I have no idea if there has been a reply to a comment I have made unless I actively search for one. There is no "Reply" button on the sidebar on my screen. If I do not respond, it is not me giving the single digit salute….even if it where warranted.
          1. As for not commenting about Covid or the vaccines…are you serious?

          [comment deleted in part for the second time.

          I’m not going to waste more time on you on Covid-19 vaccines. Take the deal (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-01-09-2021/#comment-1813086) or take the ban. You can leave your response anywhere you like; it doesn’t have to be in OM 01-09-2021 and you can do it here in this thread if you wish. If you don’t respond the default will be the ban – Incognito]

          • Incognito

            See my Moderation note @ 12:51 pm.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              Again…and this is also in response to your Mod note from last week…

              [comment deleted in part for the third and final time.

              As I said before, I’m not going to waste more time on you on Covid-19 vaccines. If you think you can argue your way out of it, you are wrong. I’m starting to suspect that I cannot trust you to keep your part of the bargain, but the deal still stands and time will tell or not. Take it or leave it.

              BTW, this is not censoring, it is Moderating. The discussion will continue with or without you regardless – Incognito]

              I personally would be very, very interested in reading these arguments.

              And in the interest of fairness and transparency, how about not censoring this comment at all…let others decide if I am spreading bullshit.

              Because how it is at the moment you seem to be implying (by viciously heavy censoring) that I am quoting shit from some dark- hole nutbar conspiracy site… not the fucking British Broadcasting Corporation. Fffs!

    • Tricledrown 4.3

      We should not rush into authorizing vaccinations for 12 yr olds and under until the science is out some studies show little benefits. We have time to sit back and make an focused decision.

      Just like our roll out being later than everyone else's it has meant we get the maximum benefit.

      ie 6 weeks between doses gives longer immunity.the fact we have vaccinated later gives us an 6 months on everyone else which also gives us time to look more closely at the research data.

      Let's not be panicked by the bullying of the right wing business first at all Cost's that's cost business more as we have had to have a second lockdown.Collins and Seymour and their groupies will be pushing hard to open up at the earliest date.Our economy did just fine without Tourism.

      Robertson needs to fund tourism to change to other types of business for in the longterm tourism is never going to be the same again.

      • Gezza 4.3.1

        Agree that international tourism looks likely to be a major health risk for many years to come. This will strike some formerly-thriving Māori tourism-related enterprises hard, as well as Pākehā tourist & tourism-dependent ancilliary businesses.

        While some can pivot towards encouraging more local tourism it won't make up the gap in numbers & total income.

        I think the pressure is going to go the government to open up regardless because of this.

        Not sure how Māori tourism operators are thinking on this. Hapu & Iwi spokespeople around the country are understandably vocal & active in protecting their kaumatua & communities. Mārae visits by touring parties have been a welcome source of funds & relationship-building for some.

        • Patricia Bremner

          I think the wealthy will still travel as they will afford the time and the money the remaining systems will cost.

          Others will do the work / learn and stay.

          Maori Tourism will become more targetted at this market imo, as will others.

          We will have fewer tourists for longer periods. Quality not quantity.

          • Gezza

            Which will be no bad thing, if you're right. Unconstrained, cheap & easy tourism has resulted in damage and an incredible amount of littering in some World Heritage sites in various places around the world.

            Quite apart from the dangers inherent in allowing hundreds of tourist climbers to swarm Mt Everest, for example, the sheer amount of litter left on that maunga is staggering. Even today in the 'death zone' there are used oxygen cylinders, other climbing bric-a-brack, and some unrecovered bodies.

            It's just too difficult and dangerous to try and find and bring them all down. Google "Green Boots".

      • Andre 4.3.2

        We really don't have much time to sit back and wait for indefinite rounds of more data gathering for 5 to 11 year olds.

        The pressure to open back up and end the use of lockdowns will become too much for the government to stand against very soon after we stop hearing people complaining that they want vaccination and haven't yet been able to get it.

        That means covid is going to get in and spread quite widely and quite quickly. Despite the misinformation promoted by some, significant numbers of young kids get very sick and get long-term disabilities or even die from covid. It's imperative to give them as much protection as we can before they get exposed to the virus.

      • Cricklewood 4.3.3

        Outside of kids with pre existing conditions I think we need to be really damn careful with vaccinating the young.


        • Treetop

          I was aware of the Myocarditis risk in teenagers.

          I would like to know if one Pfizer vaccine makes enough antibodies to give protection for the 12 – 18 age group?

          I am undecided on children age 5 – 11 being vaccinated. Children in the UK have returned to school and a double blind study needs to be done to determine what the benefit is for children age 5 – 11. Transmission of Covid among children occurs. The teachers would be under strain.

          Covid is also hard on parents and caregivers of children. Being a single parent without enough support would not be easy.

          • Cricklewood

            Seems to have a disproportionate effect on boys so much so it potentially carries more risk than covid itself for that cohort. At least according to that study.

            No easy answers but given vaccination offers good protection from serious illness in adults etc we should and can afford imo to exercise extreme caution in giving it to children.

            • Treetop

              When it comes to children/teenagers the research needs to be througher.

              It is about the efficacy and duration of antibodies from one jab. People under 18 do get Covid and require hospitalisation.

        • Andre

          A few comments on the study referenced by the Guardian piece before the likely rebuttals start coming out in a few days as actual experts respond to it:

          It's a dumpster dive in VAERS of the type that VAERS is explicitly not designed for and actual experts warn against.

          The lead author Tracy Hoeg has been a long time advocate of basically reopening schools and letting the covid chips fall where they may. Kind of a "plan B" type.

          Looking for previous citations, it appears Hoeg frequently appears cited on Children's Health Defense, a notorious source of vaccine misinformation and disinformation.

          It appears fairly likely that the article won't make it through peer review. Indeed, it may not be intended to, if the intent is simply to provide an anti-vax talking point. Its work will have already been done.

          Given that the methodology of the study appears at odds with accepted good practice, the priors of the author, and that the conclusions are way way at odds with the conclusions of more reputable sources, caution around that article is well warranted.

          Here's a piece that examines the risk of the disease versus the vaccine from a better-accepted viewpoint:


          • Fran

            It is interesting that you dismiss concerns about the risks of the vaccine for children. In order to protect the children you immediately render some expendable for the greater good. Until we know why, and how many children will react then we should proceed with caution or not proceed at all. If we are simply exchanging one risk for another for the sake of an ideology that the technical solution is best then we need to think again.

            • Andre

              I'm not dismissing concerns about the health of children.

              However, I am unapologetic about dismissing the evidence-free beliefs in stories fabricated by grifters and the feels and reckons of ignorants that are contradicted by the actual facts and evidence.

    • Treetop 4.4

      Children having Covid and fighting it off, I decided to look up very recent science on this.

      26/08/2021 Scientific American Unraveling the Mystery of Why Children Are Better Protected From Covid than Adults.


      • Treetop 4.4.1

        Sorry a problem with the link.

      • Andre 4.4.2

        Link that works:


        tl;dr Kids' perma-snotty noses actually contain a first response system to viruses that are new to them, that adults never used to need so it doesn't get maintained.

        Which is all very well. But the situation we're facing is that kids are very likely to be facing a new virus that breaks through this defence and wreaks havoc in enough of them that a strong response is warranted.

        We have multiple vaccines that are being checked in these age groups to find appropriate dosages, and whether there are any adverse effects specific to those kids. The question is finding the balance of having enough data to say the risk-benefit is in favour of vaccinating those kids, versus taking a chance on how many of them get damaged or killed by the disease, versus the broader cost to society of maintaining non-vaccine protections such as lockdowns.

        • Treetop

          Thanks for the fix up.

          In the link

          Children, "also more quickly produce type 1 interferons, which are crucial for fighting viruses."

          Were the snotty nose and the type 1 interferon defence to fail in children there needs to be a back up plan. That would at this point in time be vaccination.

  5. Gezza 5

    I've now had both. Painless injection, both times. Hardly felt it (trick is, don't look).

    The information sheet given to me after the first jab mentioned side effects were more likely to occur after the 2nd one.

    Sore/tender upper arm at injection site, & a morning headache the day after, both times. Headache easily dealt to with two ibuprofen at breakfast. No other effects. Went well.

    • Treetop 5.1

      I plan to have the jabs 6 weeks apart to not confuse my already confused immune system. I will give anything a go when it comes to Covid keeping me out of hospital were I to have it and not to increase the work load of the health workers.

  6. Ad 6

    Anyone here not had their first shot yet, that intends to get one?

  7. AB 7

    I'm thinking we need a surge of testing now in South Auckland to keep elimination alive as an outcome. But how is it done in a way that gets compliance and doesn't appear racist?

    • Gezza 7.1

      Has to be done in consultation with Maori & Pasifika community leaders & churches. And saliva testing would seem to be the best, least-invasive way to go, if that can be established to be accurate enuf?

      [e-mail address corrected]

    • Treetop 7.2

      Auckland has been impacted the most due to lockdowns and the number of those with Covid.

      I tend to look at who is going to be worse off economically and have their health impacted by Covid the most.

      Two facts, those on low incomes and those with health conditons are impacted the most. Testing and vaccinating for Covid reduces the impact.

      Every town and city needs to have good access to test and vaccinate for Covid. In the areas with the greatest need eliminate the barriers to get tested and to get vaccinated.

    • Ad 7.3

      Their own Pasifika community leaders have been calling out for it for a while.

      Let the virtue signallers rage.

    • Anne 7.4

      Agree AB. It would seem that the bulk of the Sth Auckland cases are linked to church gathering and general ignorance on the part of some who have not picked up the Covid messages and how to respond to them. Not all the church leaders appear to be proactive in supporting and guiding these people – perhaps for the same reason.

      The rest of Auckland cannot continue to tolerate this situation for much longer, and I wonder of there is going to be a requirement for two Auckland levels… one applying to South Auckland and the the rest of Auckland can join the rest of the country. Whether that is even feasible is a moot point.

    • Gezza 7.5

      To get surge testing in South Auckland organised it needs to be done in consultation with Maori & Pasifika community leaders & organisations (which would incude church pastors).

      Also hopefully we'll soon be able to use saliva testing instead of the more invasive/uncomfortable nasal swabs.

  8. Gezza 8

    (Sorry Mod. Mucked up my email addy)

  9. Ad 9

    Shoutout to Jane Campion for winning the Best Director prize at the Venice Film Festival.

    Film was: The Power of the Dog.

    Also starring: Central Otago


  10. Ad 11

    Interesting rhetorical step for President Bush to equate AlQaeda and the MAGA supporters who stormed Congress on March 6th this year.


    At minimum it puts the extremist end of Trump's supporters into a very difficult box.

    • Andre 11.1

      Nah, not really. A lot of Donnie One-Term's supporters are middle-finger voters that previously never had anyone they were enthusiastic about. Shrub's opinions won't matter in the slightest to them.

      As for traditional Repugs, they'll rationalise it away as the insurrectionists weren't really Repugs, so those words don't apply to them.

      • Morrissey 11.1.1

        The Democrats in 2016 had the chance to follow democratic procedures and give people a genuinely popular candidate, proposing popular, decent, centrist policies, who drew far larger numbers to his events than Trump ever did. But the masterminds of the DNC ensured that the candidate put forward was Hillary Clinton.

        • RedLogix

          Yup. A Bernie Presidency would not have gotten all his activists might have wished for – probably a good deal less – but we would not have gotten Trump and everything that's fallen out of that.

          And I'm coming to the view that the worst thing about the Trump period was not his erratic, irresponsible, polarising and confronting politics – but that everyone else has adopted the same behaviour in response.

          • Morrissey

            Do you think he'll run again in 2024? By the way, RL, in late 2013, this writer, i.e., moi, predicted Trump would be a one-term president from 2020 to 2024.

            . https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-31122013/#comment-751510

            • RedLogix

              If the Republicans fail to put up a candidate with the charisma and intelligence to unite the American people – then yes Trump might well see the door open to a second run.

              And while we're on the topic of one term Presidents – it's pretty clear Biden is declining cognitively (the exact facts of this I accept are hard to decode from all the political noise) and it's reasonable to think the chances of a second term for him are less than good.

              Scanned through that whole OM – it was both robust and funny. In the intervening 8yrs we've made TS safer but lost something along the way. And not a few good people too. Your prediction I assume was intended as satire – but doesn't life have a way of topping even the best comedians.

              • Morrissey

                Very astute comments, my friend. Much appreciated.

              • francesca

                The kind of ridiculous hysteria around Trump and his "deplorables" does not look good for political divisions in the US healing any time soon


                • RedLogix

                  From the linked article:

                  It would have been infinitely better for everyone if America had done nothing, absolutely nothing, in response to 9/11,

                  I recall writing somewhere years back that in response to 9/11 the best thing the US could have done was to mourn it's dead with dignity and then defiantly declare "is that the worst you can do"?

                  And then in hindsight they should have quietly gone to the Saudi's (who were after all definitively involved in the attack) and demand that the culprits be handed over to justice or something unpleasant might happen.

                  • Gezza

                    Bit awkward for them to do that, the Saudis were worth too much to them in arms purchases & financial, diplomatic, military & intelligence collaborations to piss them off or pressure them, I suspect.

                    Besides which, didn't they know bin Laden was operating out of Afghanistan?

                    They cruise-missiled Al Qaeda's known training camps there. Then they demanded the Taliban hand him & his associates over to the US for trial.

                    The Taliban offered to surrender bin Laden to a neutral country as they said they didn't trust the US to give him a fair trial. The US should perhaps have gone with that option, but instead they decided to go & get him & to depose the Taliban regime at the same time via an invasion by another ill-advised "coalition of the willing" of the usual suspects countries.

                    They probably should have instead just gone for one or more covert intelligence-based Special Forces operations to kill or capture him. These days they have more capability for this kind of assassination operation via stealth or drone air attacks.

              • cricklewood

                You're not wrong… moderation feels more heavy handed these days. Has shut down some different but valuable view points. Seems to be getting worse recently sorta in tune with how societies heading, tolerance for opposing views is disappearing fast… as is trust in people being able to make up their own minds. Worrying times some friends I have that grew up in communist eastern Europe are getting worried in that they are seeing similar behaviors establish here.

                • RedLogix

                  I think moderation first started heading in the this direction when we started shutting down climate change deniers. At the time – and even now – it seemed reasonable and justified to do so. But it was the first big topic where we started moderating on content and not behaviour, and this change has proven to be tricky to manage.

                  Partly because it's hard to disentangle from the personal views of the moderators, and then again because of scope-creep. Some authors curate their threads quite tightly, others don't at all. I'm reasonably OK with this, especially if OM remains just that – open. There have been some benefits to this, we sometimes get better focused debates without derails and distractions. Sometimes like weka's recent posts on trans issues I've understood that quite strong moderation was justified.

                  But the trend really discourages me is moderators starting to assume the role of defining 'misinformation'. I know they mean well and I've not been keen to make an issue of it, but if TS heads the way of FB, Twitter and YT and starts regularly constraining the debate to a list of 'approved' topics I think it will be game over here.

                  • cricklewood

                    Not so much game over as echo chamber… some will be completely happy with that I guess. Shame really

          • francesca

            I totally agree with you RL re Trump

            He was the worst thing for journalism, for one any hack could say what he liked about Trump as long as it vilified him in some way, and it would be applauded.Any retrograde politician or bad actor could say something nasty true or not about Trump, and that person;s whole questionable career would be instantly sanitised, and the media would bay in approval

            His actual suppression of journalism was eclipsed by Obama, who jailed more whistleblowers than any other president

            Apart from the exception of Assange, for which he can never be forgiven.But I don’t see Obama or Clinton standing up for Assange either, and Biden perfectly happy to continue with Trump’s decision to prosecute.

    • Morrissey 11.2

      Bush's analysis of anything is not worth a bucket of spit. Shouldn't he be in prison?

      • Pete 11.2.1

        Bush saying it may not be worth a bucket of spit.

        If Obama had made a speech carrying the same sentiments would it have been worth more than a bucket of spit? Would it actually have been "Right on!"

        The sentiments?

        Could a president, a party have survived if he'd said “We love you; you’re very special,” and called them “peaceful people, these were great people” if the Jann 6 mass were foreign rather than domestic people (terrorists.)

        As Jennifer Rubin said, "No president could have avoided prosecution if the crowd he inspired to march on the Capitol had been radical Muslims ready to kill elected leaders and stop democracy in its tracks.

        In every case, had the terrorists been foreigners, we would have labeled their Republican apologists as anti-American, if not traitorous."

        • Morrissey

          You were doing well until "As Jennifer Rubin said…"

          • Pete

            You were doing well until you said "You were…"

            You think someone originally from the Middle East with a microphone encouraging a mass of Muslim people to go to the Capitol to stop the implementation of the electoral aspects of the Constitution would be lauded, supported, defended? You think a mass of Muslims ready to attack and kill elected leaders would be celebrated?

            And if the leader said, to and of them, “We love you; you’re very special,” and called them “peaceful people, these were great people” how would he be regarded? Would he and they be praised as 'patriots?'

            The great unwashed of America, the Jim Jordans, the Marjorie Taylor Greens, the Josh Hawleys, the Madison Hawthorns would have demanded the horde be gunned down as they went on their mission down Washington Avenue.

      • Gezza 11.2.2

        “Shouldn’t [Bush] be in prison?”

        So should Cheney & the late Rumsfeld, & Blair. But there's some international law or something that prevents war criminals like these beggars from being charged with war crimes, as they're the leaders of countries.

        Or maybe it’s just because no other country is powerful enough to capture and try them.

  11. Sacha 12

    Thoughtful interview this morning about how Covid highlights social inequity. (12m clip) https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/were-paying-cost-expert-says-inequality-adding-nzs-covid-issues

    Rodney Jones from Wigram Capital Advisors spoke to Q+A after addressing the Government's select committee earlier this week about some of his concerns for the current outbreak of the Delta strain, particularly in South Auckland where there has been community transmission.

    "What we've experienced this time is actually what we've seen in the rest of the world that in affluent areas and affluent suburbs, outbreaks are brought under control very, very quickly," Jones said.

    "The cost of this inequality has manifested over a long period of time; the thing with Covid is that the cost appears over three months where you get a Delta outbreak in a part of your community struggles and you can't control it, you can't manage it.

    "We're paying the cost today instead of in 30 years time through health spending or prisons."

    "This has been a consequence of what we did in the 80s and 90s and sorts of reforms we adopted; it meant more inequality and we thought we could live with that but we can't."

    As such, Jones said now is the opportunity for New Zealand to seize the much-needed change.

    • Sacha 12.1

      A response..

      • Ad 12.1.1

        Wouldn't a reset be great?

        The reset under this government is only that dealt by fate through restricting international engagement to the digital world.

        National would have done pretty much the same.

    • Ed 12.2

      Saw that interview.

      It was excellent.

  12. Morrissey 13

    Moral Leaders of Our Time. No. 1: Paul McCartney

    Thirty years ago, Paul McCartney stopped Weird Al Yankovic releasing a parody of “Live and Let Die” by Wings because he thought Yankovic’s parody—"Chicken Pot Pie"— would promote immoral behavior.

    …. According to Rolling Stone, Yankovic said “Paul didn’t want me to do it because he’s a strict vegetarian and he didn’t want a parody that condoned the consumption of animal flesh. He said, ‘You can do something else like tofu pot pie.’ I said, ‘No, the chorus of my song will be ‘Bawk-bawk-bawk-bawk’ and tofu doesn’t make any noise. It’s not going to work.”


    Some years after that demonstration of concern for moral behaviour, McCartney performed in apartheid Israel….

    …. A small group of Palestinians had urged McCartney to call off the show, saying it was supporting the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. A radical Muslim preacher in Lebanon also called on McCartney to cancel the show.

    During a visit to the biblical town of Bethlehem on Wednesday, McCartney brushed off the criticism.

    "I get criticized everywhere I go, but I don't listen to them," McCartney said. "I'm bringing a message of peace, and I think that's what the region needs."



    Moral Leaders of Our Time is compiled and presented by Hector Stoop, for Daisycutter Sports Inc.

    • Gezza 13.1

      Dunno, M.

      Remember this? From memory it was released during The Troubles, was deemed too provactive & was banned in England. As a consequence it received no promotion or airplay there.

      While he'd never struck me as being politically & socially active as Lennon (who was a deeply flawed individual but knew it) this song was played on Radio Hauraki a few times & I remember thinking that was quite a gutsy stance to take in those times.

  13. Morrissey 14

    Moral Leaders of Our Time. No. 2: George W. Bush

    … In a furtively short ceremony, overshadowed by Hillary Clinton's confirmation hearings, George Bush awarded Tony Blair and John Howard the presidential medal of freedom, America's highest civilian honour, praising them as "the sort of guys who look you in the eye, keep their word, and tell the truth".

    Colombia's president, Alvaro Uribe, also received the award. Wives, Cherie among them, looked on approvingly. …


    Moral Leaders of Our Time is compiled and presented by Hector Stoop, for Daisycutter Sports Inc.

  14. Gezza 15

    Does anybody who often posts here know if there's quick way way to access macrons using an ordinary Win 10 laptop keyboard?

    I like to try & remember to use them when typing kupu Māori (words) as a means of reinforcing my very limited Te Reo Māori language learning.

    It's a piece of cake on my iPad2 as various language accent marks come up when character keys are held briefly before release.

    But my now ancient iPad2 requires frequent reboots after posting here once or twice, & switching to the lappy I lose that functionality. I don't want to have to use, say the MS Word app & copy paste after selecting “Insert Symbol”. Takes way too long to find the macrons.

    • McFlock 15.1

      You can install the NZ-Māori keyboard if you add the Māori language using the main settings.

      After adding the keyboard you can type macrons by tapping the tilde (~) key then the vowel, so "ā" is "~" then "a".

      • Gezza 15.1.1

        Thanks. I'll look into that.

        I bought this Lenovo laptop a couple of years back.

        (I had to; my previous Compaq spent all night and half a day downloading the free Win 10 OS but, at the last minute during the install self-check, frustratingly announced that my Video card was incompatible with Win 10. So I just carried on using Win 7, which I liked & still prefer to Win 10. But MSoft stopped supporting Win 7 in Jan 2020, meaning no more security patches.)

        When I completed the set up of this computer it had some other language for keyboard pre-loaded. Pressing certain keys resulted in a completely different letter appearing. Forget which. It was a baffling & irritating experience. In the end I rang Harvey Norman, where I'd got it from, and got talked through selecting the right keyboard language.

        I'm not that tech-savvy, McFlock. Hope loading the Maori language doesn't give me a similar problem. Do I do this in System Settings?

    • Brigid 15.2

      In Firefox I can add the Maori language as an add on.

      So spell it with a lower case m which will high light it as mis-spelt. Then when you right click to correct the spelling, select language and then Maori.

      • Gezza 15.2.1

        I've got MS Edge and Chrome browsers, Brigid. I mostly use Chrome on this laptop.

        Used to have Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome on my previous Win 7 lappy, but I can't be bothered loading more browsers onto this one. indecision

  15. weka 16

  16. Auckland couple leaves level 4 with essential worker exemptions, then fly from Hamilton to their holiday home in Wanaka! RNZ news at 5.

    Self-centred entitled rich pricks, endangering the South Island!

    National or Act supporters?

  17. joe90 18

    Anti-vaxx trash are flat out doxxing the kid, too.

    • Pete 18.1

      "An unfounded rumour about the student's death appears to have first popped up on Saturday night and was given a big boost when lawyer and NZ Outdoors Party co-leader Sue Grey, a well-known anti-vaccine activist, posted about it to her followers.

      The post attracted over 1400 comments before it was taken down late this morning but has also been cited overseas."

      Scott Hamilton also posts: "Alanna Ratna is the latest anti-vax activist to suggest the PM's life is in danger. 'We're going to get you Jacinda. Your future is bleak' she wrote yesterday on fb. Ratna is a doctor & close ally of John Ansell. Like him she believes the covid vaccine is depopulating NZ."

      Is it hate speech to say I hate it that there are people like Grey, Ratna and Ansell in the world?

  18. Tricledrown 19

    Ansell should take notice of the US antivax covid denial radio talkback host's who are no longer here crying on their death beds wishing they had been vaccinated.

    If they are making death threats they should be arrested and hauled into court.

  19. Gezza 20

    Four of the six Palestinans who recently escaped by tunnelling out of an Israeli maximum security prison have now been recaptured, so far without sparking off another revolt in occupied Palestine. One of them looks the worse for wear after apparently resisting:

    • Gezza 20.1

      Oops. Spoke (typed?) too soon. Aljazeera tv's quick headline news summary just reported that Palestinian militants have fired several missiles into Israel, & that Israel has immediately struck back with their own missiles into Gaza. 😐

  20. joe90 21

    Tulsi at her progressive best.


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