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Open mike 13/01/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 13th, 2023 - 78 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 …

78 comments on “Open mike 13/01/2023 ”

  1. Stephen D 1

    Maybe all those whining about potholes should pass this on to their local councils.


    ”Masic et al. found evidence of calcite-filled cracks in other samples of Roman concrete, supporting their hypothesis. They also created concrete samples in the lab with a hot mixing process, using ancient and modern recipes, then deliberately cracked the samples and ran water through them. They found that the cracks in the samples made with hot-mixed quicklime healed completely within two weeks, while the cracks never healed in the samples without quicklime.”

    • Maurice 1.1

      During the WWII preparation for D-Day the Mulberry Harbours where being prepared and it was found that the huge concrete cassions were too heavy to tow off the land into the sea and they had to be made in the sea. They were initially made from conventional concrete but it would not set in salt water. Churchill remembered reading of Roman concrete setting in salt water from his reading of Latin texts during his classical education and he instructed his scientific advisors to find out how that concrete worked.

      The rest is history – The benefits of a Classical education ……

  2. Sacha 2

    Evil. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/jan/12/exxon-climate-change-global-warming-research

    The oil giant Exxon privately “predicted global warming correctly and skilfully” only to then spend decades publicly rubbishing such science in order to protect its core business, new research has found.

    A trove of internal documents and research papers has previously established that Exxon knew of the dangers of global heating from at least the 1970s, with other oil industry bodies knowing of the risk even earlier, from around the 1950s. They forcefully and successfully mobilized against the science to stymie any action to reduce fossil fuel use.

    A new study, however, has made clear that Exxon’s scientists were uncannily accurate in their projections from the 1970s onwards, predicting an upward curve of global temperatures and carbon dioxide emissions that is close to matching what actually occurred as the world heated up at a pace not seen in millions of years.

    • Robert Guyton 2.1

      Pathological organism.

      Can the "body" of humanity recognise and treat such a pathological organism (before it kills it)?

      • weka 2.1.1

        I wonder if the tolerance for such bullshit will diminish once we have a tipping point % of the population reliant on electric transport rather than oil transport.

        • Sacha

          Damage already done.

        • Sabine

          And maybe that is one of the reasons people are not worried, after all right, they can just buy a electric car and pretend they did their bid. Greenwashing at its finest.

          Instead if really we wanted to bring a tipping point in understanding we would invest heavily into public transport -free of charge for everyone, and private non polluting transports i.e. bikes. And build future housing projects with public transport in mind rather then just go for infill housing in communities that have no public transport to speak of and thus everyone will use their car to get about.

    • Sabine 2.2

      I had a short stint working for Shell in the early 90s. Everyone in upper management was frothing at the mouth at the idea of the permafrost melting as you could drill baby drill. Their eyes shone with exitement talking about Russia and their resources that they would love to lay their hands on. Oh well………

      In saying that, acid rain, ozone hole etc all these things have been with us for a while now and yet we still insist in having huge cars, huge tvs, huge houses, huge amounts of food etc etc etc.

      Go figure.

      • Sanctuary 2.2.1

        I think those sorts of people in management champion magic thinking under the guise of an unshakeable belief in technological progress. That is, if CO2 and methane etc become a problem, we'll simply invent some form of technology to make the problem go away, and they want to make sure they are in the box seat for the profits to be made from that.

        Magical thinking around climate change is rife, because the problem is so enormous and it poses so many fundamental questions about how our world is currently orgainsed.

        • Sabine

          Actually i think it is simpler then that. They know but hope to be in the income group that is considered important and rich enough to survive whilst the large part of the unwashed masses will simply die of hunger, pestilence or washed away in the floods.

          Never underestimate how greed can influence your thinking.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    Genuine question to people who may know these people better than I – what is the attraction of Russian fascism to so many aging once-were-lefties? You know, Mike Smith here and a couple of recent and frankly unhinged pieces from the likes of Malcolm Evans on the TDB, or Ken Perrott (granted he has always been a bit of a nutter). They've all become complete Putin tankies. The war in the Ukraine seems to have become a very strange rabbit hole for these people.

    It is a very odd confection of paranoia, stupidity and reflexive anti-capitalist dogmatism – for example, while we can all agree the US military industrial complex is a bad thing and the invasion of Iraq was an illegal invasion and a war crime, how does it follow that arming the Ukraine is therefore bad, and that the illegal and unprovoked invasion of the Ukraine allows for a whattaboutism that somehow makes two wrongs a right? And don't even get me started on the insane belief these people seem to have that an emerging democracy like the Ukraine is run by Nazis, or the odd intellectual gymnastics that argues the Russians are the victims?

    Is it just old age? Does old age do that to you? Oh God, I am getting old, am I doomed?

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.1

      I've been very puzzled by it myself. Not all of them are old – AOC and the progressive left in USA seem to be falling into the error of supporting invasion, dictatorship, torture and authoritarianism. I've been disappointed by this behaviour in various people whose views on other matters I've often supported (Corbyn, AOC, Chomsky etc).

      • Sacha 3.1.1

        AOC and the progressive left in USA seem to be falling into the error of supporting invasion, dictatorship, torture and authoritarianism.

        Care to share examples of that?

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          I am probably going too far, true. I don't think they actively believe in the dreadful things Russia are doing – but have done things that end up supporting Russia's appalling actions.

          The most egregious was the letter in October, calling for negotiations with Russia (while Russia was committing war crimes left right and centre, all over Ukraine), and negotiations between the USA and Russia over Ukraine's fate (just stomp all over the victim). This was utterly tone deaf, harmed Ukraine and was amplified to the max by all the Russian propaganda channels. They tried to walk the letter back, claiming it was some sort of mistake – but the apology was pathetic relative to the harm caused – harm caused to the brutalised victim of terror and aggression.

          More recently, AOC opposed a bill that would fund further military and other aid from the USA to Ukraine (she says for reasons around unrelated funding in the bill) – and I can't find any mention by her of regretting any harm to Ukraine from this.

          I generally support the squad, but they haven't been great on the Ukraine injustice.

    • higherstandard 3.2

      'Is it just old age? Does old age do that to you? Oh God, I am getting old, am I doomed?'

      Yes just like the rest of us.

    • weka 4.1

      I suspect many people don't understand what's happening here, so let me explain. In the UK (and other places) there has been a big push to provide toilets for the small but increasing number of trans and NB people.

      Often what happens is that the women's toilets are converted into the NB/gender neutral/everyone except men toilet, and the men's toilet is left for men. This despite the fact that women's toilets are used more and under supplied compared to men's.

      One of the reasons for that is that it's cheaper to just convert the women's toilet than build a new gender neurtal one, and they don't want to convert the men's toilet because it has the urinals.

      Men's needs take precedent over women's. Women's needs are invisible, the need to privacy and safety from males for a whole range of reasons (dignity, dealing with menstruation and miscarriage, sexual assault prevention, male violence trauma survivors, and so on).

      One of the rationales for providing trans/NB toilets has rightly been that trans/NB people need access to toilets so they don't have to hold on or be limited in how they take part in society. So why is it that women aren't granted the same respect? (that's not a rhetorical question, it's because of sexism and misogyny).

      We will turn the women's toilet into a mixed sex toilet, and women who need/want a single sex toilet can walk to the other side of the building, dripping menstrual blood if necessary.

      I'll also point out that male wheelchair users are being forced to use what is essentially the women's loos. That's fucked up as well.

      And no, building floor to ceiling cubicles each with their own hand basin and room to change is not a particularly good situation outside of small cafes and other places where only one or two toilets is needed. We have single sex toilets for very good reasons. If society needs gender neutral toilets, that's a third space.

      • weka 4.1.1

        and I'll hazard a guess that the women's WC notice was an after thought. They did the conversion without thinking about women, and then women complained.

        • Maurice

          I do notice that some men only toilets do now have baby changing tables and nappy disposal receptacles in them. I guess some dads who take young children to town complained/made it known this facility was required.

          Am guessing that the powers that be thought placing the otherly gendered persons in the mens toilets would be too dangerous with likely nastiness and forgot (or conveniently ignored) the danger transferred to women.

      • Sacha 4.1.3

        If society needs gender neutral toilets, that's a third space.

        Or every home.

        • weka

          I don't let men I don't know come and use the toilet in my home as it suits them, I doubt you do either. No-one does.

          I don't know anyone that has a toilet at home that men, women, girls, boys all use at the same time, except where those people already have intimate relationships. Women in particular would not let casual male visitors be using a bathroom/toilet with their girl children at the same time unless there was a strong relationship of trust already. What planet are you on?

          If you can't understand the differences for women needing single sex spaces, between public toilets and the toilet in their own home, then you're an idiot whose ideas on this topic should be roundly ignored.

          • Sacha

            Transwomen are women. They also expect safe spaces from men, for the same reasons.

            • Visubversa

              TWAW eh! That is a mantra, a slogan, a catechism, an expression of belief. You are welcome to believe it, but as it has zero proof of reality and zero testability, you cannot require others to so believe.

              Yes, everyone should be safe – and men can be very harsh on others they see as non- conforming. They have demonstrated that on Gay men for decades, in toilets, and prisons etc. The problem is male violence. That does not mean that women should become the shields for non-conforming men.

            • Francesca

              There are not enough womens toilets in general.Women need them often with more urgency than men I"m referring to women in the anatomical and reproductive sense.

              I shouldn't have to say this, but childbirth can play havoc with the bladder and sphincter muscle.Anyone who's been pregnant knows the increased frequency of urination .Any woman who's felt blood dripping down their legs in the street wants to get to a toilet fast, and while they're attending to themselves they don't want to hear a man pissing all over the seat in the next booth .

              And they do that pretty bloody often

              If I'm in town, among strangers ,I want to be able to go to a womens toilet and have the peace of mind to know I'm only going to encounter other women .

              Transwomen don't cut it for me in that sense.Because I know that at their core they are men, and if anyone wants to hurt me, 99% of the time , it will be a man .I can't help it that I instinctively know , in some deep core of me , who is a man and who is a woman

              And lets face it, most transwomen retain their penises, because the nightmarish alternative of a fake vagina has dire health consequences.

              How many of we women have been assaulted by a man , raped by a man, threatened by a man .A pretty dreadful percentage It stays with you , and they don't always look like monsters.Some of those images Weka has shown of the terrible violence and threats uttered by transwomen activists is just downright horrific

              I am now approaching the "elderly"bracket (actually I'm 70, but I've got a bit of go in me yet).I may just end up "holding on" rather than experience the visceral fear of sharing space with a strange man while attempting to have a private piss.

              More toilets for women and gender neutral toilets for those that want them

              • Sacha

                I"m referring to women in the anatomical and reproductive sense.

                Females then.

                • Francesca

                  Oh god, you're going to attempt to linguistically reprogram me?

                  in the same way that lesbians must be reprogrammed to accept male penises?

                  Woman … an adult female human being

                  All the contorted tortuous post modern verbiage in the world doesn't alter the reality that a woman is an adult female human being , and a transwoman is a man who for whatever reason feels more real presenting as a woman

                  • Sacha

                    One of us is trying to change established language to suit an agenda, and it isn't me.

                    • weka

                      it is you. Even for those that accept TWAW, some words have more than one meaning, and woman still means adult human female.

                      But politically, you, a man, are actively trying to remove the word we have that is commonly used to describe adult human females. That's an agenda.

                • weka

                  Females then.

                  Most people still use the word woman when referring to biologically female humans. For obvious reasons.

                  Men don't get to tell women what language we use about ourselves. But it's so interesting that you would try and get women here to accept TWAW while at the same time telling women how to conceptualise ourselves. When exactly did progressive men decide that trans people get self definition but women get defined by men?

                  • Sacha

                    Men don't get to tell women what language we use about ourselves.

                    Yeah you keep playing that card. When you say things that have actual (as opposed to theoretical) harmful consequences for whole groups of people, all humans will respond.

                    • weka

                      You're missing the point Sacha. You can respond. I'm calling you out as a hypocrite who says that trans people are allowed rights and self definition but women aren't. And doing that as a man with progressive politics.

                      When you say things that have actual (as opposed to theoretical) harmful consequences for whole groups of people, all humans will respond.

                      See, hypocrisy. In your world, it's ok to talk about harm to trans people, but it's not ok for women to talk about harm to women.

                      You literally argue against women being able to use our own language at the same time as telling us that we should use the designated language for trans people, presumably on the basis that trans people get their own language.

                      It's nuts. That's not the problem though, the problem is you won't make the actual argument for your position. My informed opinion about that is it's because you don't have an argument that stands up in a place like TS where robust debate is expected.

              • Muttonbird

                They don't want to hear a man pissing all over the seat in the next booth .

                Does this really happen? I mean enough to call it a behavioural consistent requiring every public toilet to have a fourth space. Otherwise it seems like you are making up some dreaded fantasy.

            • weka

              Transwomen are women. They also expect safe spaces from men, for the same reasons.

              TWATW. And duh, of course they need safe spaces. The question is why you want to sacrifice women's rights and safety to provide that instead of providing for both groups.

              I advocated for third spaces for toilets, you came in with an inane, sound bite, TRA talking point about toilets at home being gender neutral, as if we haven't been hearing this lack of reasoning response for years. You don't address the points I raised, and default to TW are vulnerable too as if we don't already know that.

              I'm going to save a lot of time and just point out that is classic gender ideology debating, it has no substance and rarely addresses the issues being raised. It relies on mantras like TWAW, but can't put up any arguments for why women should give up their single sex spaces.

              Self ID means any man who says they are woman is to be accepted as a woman at any time, including violent men when want to access women's spaces. Again, if you believe that some men won't take advantage of that new found access, you're an idiot and your ideas on this topic should be ignored.

              • Sacha

                Interesting to compare you calling me an "idiot" with your previous official reaction to me saying things like I hope you and others find peace. All I have done today is make uncontroversial statements supported by 99.9% of the world's population.

                [citation needed for “All I have done today is make uncontroversial statements supported by 99.9% of the world's population.”. You’re in premod until you do. If you want to be here and part of this debate, then up your game and make the actual arguments at the standard expected here – weka]

                • Sacha

                  I will not be providing evidence for established knowledge any more than for the earth not being flat. Get over yourself.

                  [it’s neither reasonable nor viable to allow commenters here to have this degree of contempt for moderation. The Policy says,

                  We are intolerant of people starting or continuing flamewars where there is little discussion or debate. This includes making assertions that you are unable to substantiate with some proof (and that doesn’t mean endless links to unsubstantial authorities) or even argue when requested to do so.

                  Based on moderations in the past few months, I see no reason to think you will change nor that there is any point in giving you more chances. I’m also not willing to spend any more moderation time on this. 1 year ban as we are currently clearing out problems until after the election period – weka]

                • weka

                  Interesting to compare you calling me an "idiot" with your previous official reaction to me saying things like I hope you and others find peace.

                  I thought about your comments about finding peace at the time. It was hard to know how to take that tbh. You are a genuine person, but it was juxtaposed with politics intent on removing my rights as a woman.

                  I don't understand your comparison here. I haven't made an official reaction to you wishing me peace, in fact I didn't respond to that part of your comment at all.

            • tinderdry6

              "Transwomen are women. "

              What is the basis in truth for that claim? Is it purely the subjective claims of transpeople, or is there some basis in objective reality?

              • Visubversa

                There is no basis in any reality. Every drop of your blood tells the truth about your sex. There is nothing about a man who demands to be called a woman that is not male in every pore and very action.

                You might notice that gender ideology demands the repetition of the mantra that TWAW – but the only people who are allowed to call themselves women are those men. Women are no longer allowed to name themselves – we have become "pregnant people" or "people with uteri", or "cervix havers".

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  There is nothing about a man who demands to be called a woman that is not male in every pore and very action.

                  Just as there is nothing about a woman who demands to be called a man that is not female in every pore and (e)very action?

                  All (demanding) trans people must then be delusional (at least), although some have seen the error of their choices/requirements/demands, and more may yet be persuaded to make conformist 'sense of self' choices.

                  Best to leave persuading/educating to those with the necessary skills and experience. I tried once and it backfired – irrepairably. Never again.

                • The TWAW claim seems to be both a denial of reality, and a denial of what it is to be a woman. How did we get to this?

            • Molly

              "Transwomen are women".

              Transwomen are men who – for whatever reason – require other people to consider them as women. This does not make them women. It also does not stop them from being men.

              The mantra you spout is a particularly useful one for avoiding the consideration of impacts on women and girls. Its adoption leads to legislative and policy changes that ignore the fact that the one uniting factor that all transwomen have – is that they are men.

              So, the consequence that we see in NZ is that any provision for women in terms of single-sex spaces, services, awards or support systems are now no longer single-sex. No consideration, no debate, no acknowledgement of the breaking of existing safeguarding assessments and boundaries.

              A deliberate linguistic sleight-of-hand, which provided men access to women's spaces based on men's perceptions.

              As more become aware of what has occurred, your mantra – which encompasses a circular definition – will be derided as the nonsense it is.

              Transwomen are men. So, why are you not holding a safe space for them in men's single-sex spaces?

              PS. Please provide GPS co-ordinates for your universally accessible home toilet. Not a choice I would make, but there's a list being compiled of such generous offerings. I'm sure Auckland Council would appreciate the private provision of such public facilities.

              "They also expect safe spaces from men, for the same reasons."

              No. The needs of women and men are different. The needs of women and men who want to be considered women are different. The motivations of entering a women's single-sex provision, are also different depending upon sex. Your lack of even a basic knowledge of this issue, continues to surprise.

        • Visubversa

          The "urinary leash" was a deliberate strategy by mostly middle class men to keep women out of the pubic realm. They didn't care about working class women, they could piss in alleyways, and upper class women moved in different circles. Middle class men did not want "their" women out and about too far from home without them – and they did not want them competing with them in the workplace. Women had to fight for public conveniences for women. One of the early ones in London in 1901 was destructed at the prototype stage by a crowd of angry men who drove carriages etc into it. The first public women's toilet in Manchester was in the basement of the John Rylands library which opened in 1900. Men were still resisting toilets for women well into the 1970's where workplaces used the lack of changing/toilet facilities as an excuse not to employ women.

          Yes, you can do good facilities that are safe for all users, but it is not cheap on a larger scale. One place I go regularly has 5 toilets in 3 spaces. Two of the spaces each has a toilet and a hand basin in a separate cubicle. The other space has 3 toilets – each in a separate cubicle, and one shared handbasin. Each are clearly labeled as to what is there so that users have a choice.

          These days – the demand for "gender neutral" facilities is very much part of the denial of basic biology by the gender idealogues. It is also part of the men's rights movement push to remove all accommodations and safeguards for women. It is often done – as in the above example, by simply changing the sign on the door of the women's toilet – this shows clearly what is the target here.

          When thinking of whether it is safe to have men able to walk in to any of the spaces established by and for women – the places where they are vulnerable or undressed, – don't think of the safest man you know – think of the worst man you know.

          • weka

            I suspect most men have never thought about who women's toilets came into being.

          • Belladonna

            I still recall my Nana and Mum deciding on their shopping itinerary based on the shops/places which had good women's toilets.
            Obvs – that wasn't the only places they went (not much chance at the butcher, or greengrocer), but they would structure the trip so that there would be opportunities to visit the loo at strategic points along the way.

            • weka

              and good women's toilets were really good. Rest rooms, you could sit down and have time out, there was often a lounge space separate from the toilets themselves. They were quiet and peaceful and comfortable. A great loss.

              • Yep. Smith and Caughey's ones were legendary. We rarely bought anything major there (being on the decidedly lower end of the middle class) – but always visited the restrooms.

    • Sabine 4.2

      and then there will be penis havers and others, and penis havers can also be others.

      • Francesca 4.2.1

        Yep, and women just have to roll over and suck it up because they are so kind and compassionate.Womens toilets are becoming overcrowded with all the different genders they have to accommodate

  4. mikesh 5


    am I doomed?

    No, just one-eyed. You need to be capable of seeing that both sides have interests to protect. Each is fighting over a chunk of territory to which each believes it has "ownership" rights. I'm inclined to take the side of Russia, because I think Russia, for long term defensive reasons, cannot afford to allow the Black Sea to become a Western lake; and therefor needs to hang on to Crimea and, preferably, to ensure land access to it. Ukraine seems, as a matter of government policy, determined to recover that territory ( which seems to imply invading it since Russia is unlikely to give it up).

    Ukraine, on the other hand, believes that the territorial integrity of Ukraine requires the retention (now recovery) of Donetsk, Crimea, etc.

  5. aj 6

    A journalist with integrity, and a reminder that nothing changes.

    Bernard Kalb, Founding ‘Reliable Sources’ Host and Journalist, Dies at 100


    Before “Reliable Sources,” Kalb built an esteemed career as a journalist, working for the New York Times, CBS News and NBC News with a particular interest in international affairs.

    After traveling with Henry Kissinger on diplomatic missions alongside his brother, journalist Marvin Kalb, the Kalb brothers wrote the 1974 biography “Kissinger, A Biography.”

    Kalb was appointed Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs in 1984 for the U.S. State Department under Ronald Reagan’s administration. Kalb later quit when Bob Woodward revealed a secret plan from the White House that aimed to plant false information in the U.S. media in order to weaken Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, saying he knew nothing of it.

    “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies” – Winston Churchill.

  6. Incognito 7

    Attention: Benedict Ferguson, President of the Public Service Association – Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi

    Dear Benedict,

    Thank you for your opinion piece* in Stuff and asking the rhetorical question what National and Luxon will do to public services in NZ. Unfortunately, you omitted the elephant in the room because National is of course a Trojan stalking horse for letting loose ACT policies on public services like a bull in a China shop – we all know how much National and its leaders love bull markets and China. ACT’s stance on public services is unequivocally negative as they have an inborn aversion to spending taxpayers’ money on this. Thus, the answer to your rhetorical question is anything but rhetorical and we know exactly how it is going to play out if ACT coattails into Government.

    Keep up the good work!


    * https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/130771276/we-need-to-know-what-the-plan-for-the-public-service-is-beyond-the-election

    • and richard prebble gets a whole page in todays wairarapa times age complaining about government redtape. well he would really squeal if farmers did what they liked and our export produce got turned away from our customers for having too many contaminants

  7. simeob brown is in the dompost with a third of page two complaining about the busses in wellington. what the heck has that got to do with him pray tell?

  8. PsyclingLeft.Always 9

    National Party advertisements have been seen on council managed buses in Napier and Hastings.

    The National Party candidate for the Napier seat in the next election is Katie Nimon, who works as the transport manager at the regional council.


    Ya gotta wonder….

  9. Incognito 10

    Already starting to feel depressed this year? Don’t worry, it is not the polls, yet.


  10. Incognito 11

    Sepuloni acknowledged the Government was aware the refinery’s closure would “create some challenges in the CO2 market” but said it identified a number of opportunities to strengthen the domestic CO2 market” prior to the refinery’s closure.

    “The sector has already begun implementing these opportunities which include increasing production at Kapuni, increasing imports, improving the efficiency of customers’ CO2 use, and investigating the feasibility of an additional domestic CO2 production facility.”

    The current shortage of carbon dioxide did not change the economics behind the refinery’s decision to close, she said.

    “This was a commercial decision made by its owners in response to falling refinery margins.”


    Indeed, industry dropped the ball on this. When do NZ businesses start to think about resilience instead of the usual short-sighted fumbling that they label astute management and business experience? NZ is and will remain a small remote economy compounded by environmental risks.

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