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Open mike 15/05/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 15th, 2021 - 53 comments
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53 comments on “Open mike 15/05/2021 ”

  1. Joe Biden says 'Israel has right to defend itself' as US throws its support behind Jewish State


    Joe Biden does not say that Palestinians have a rigtht to defend themselves,

    When this latest round of tit for tat, but unequal slaughter ends, what kind of peace will it be?,

    A peace where Palestinians in Gaza will have no right to defend their elected officials from assassinations?
    A peace where Palestinians on the West Bank, and even in Israel, will have no right to defend themselves from eviction from their homes by far right Israelis fueled by racist ideology that the land and houses of Palestinians is theirs to take?
    What kind of peace will it be where the US continues to say Israel has a right to self defence, and backs them with $billions in aid and the latest in modern weapons, while even humanitarian aid is withheld from the Palestinians?


    And when this fake peace ends, and another round of unequal slaughter breaks out, will the world's leaders stand by with mealy mouthed comments. about Israel haveing the right to defend itself?

    • Morrissey 1.1

      And when this fake peace ends, and another round of unequal slaughter breaks out, will the world's leaders stand by with mealy mouthed comments. about Israel having the right to defend itself?

      Yes, Jenny, most of them will do exactly that—including, sadly, our own Jacinda Ardern, who evidently approves of her Foreign Minister's ridiculous "both sides" comment the other day.


      • AB 1.1.1

        Mahuta's statement is nuanced – it hints that the initial provocation comes from Israel. It's about as far as she can go, skirting round the truth to avoid a tidal wave of bogus accusations of antisemitism. The destruction of Corbynism by this method will have focused a lot of minds and had a chilling effect on what can be said.

        • greywarshark

          Yes we must never forget what happened to Corbyn and the white-anting of the UK Labour Party.

        • Morrissey

          …. skirting round the truth to avoid a tidal wave of bogus accusations of antisemitism.

          That's exactly what she's been forced to do—no doubt by some "adviser." But journalists and politicians, even in the most heavily indoctrinated society on earth, the United States, regularly stand up to and counter the bullying and smears of the Israel lobby. Michael Brooks did not accept any nonsense when he went on Israeli television to confront someone who traduced Jeremy Corbyn and Representative Ilhan Omar….

          • Incognito

            Didn’t know that Michael Brooks was Foreign Minister at the time but you learn something unexpected every day. I fully agree with you that Nanaia Mahuta should go on Israeli TV and denounce Israel’s actions if only to silence her critics for 5 seconds. FFS!!

            • Morrissey

              I never suggested that Michael Brooks was the Foreign Minister at the time. That position was, of course, taken by the grotesque Mike Pompeo.

              And why should Nanaia Mahuta not go on Israeli TV and speak the truth? Is there a law against it? What consequences would we suffer, other than the horrible spectacle of Dame Lesley Max and Dr David Cumin raging in public?

              • Incognito

                Aaarggghhhh! Your attitude towards and understanding of international politics and diplomacy are somewhat lacking and immature, to say the least. Whose Truth should she be speaking, anyway? What power can and should she be wielding and what would or should she achieve on behalf of the people of Aotearoa-New Zealand and of other peoples? Crikey, I’m starting to sound like Gosman 🙁

                In any case, to draw a parallel between Nanaia Mahuta and a dead person who went on TV two years ago to speak in his own personal capacity, and on his own show may I add, is stretching your intellectual honesty beyond breaking point.

                • Morrissey

                  Whose Truth should she be speaking, anyway?

                  There are stark, indisputable facts about the ongoing brutality being inflicted on the people of Palestine. Nanaia Mahuta is perfectly capable of speaking that truth forthrightly. The fact that she does not is because she is fearful of doing so. Are you trying to suggest that a paid Israeli Defense Force spokesperson is speaking a "truth" when he/she contradicts the testimony of doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and journalists in Gaza and the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem?

                  What power can and should she be wielding and what would or should she achieve on behalf of the people of Aotearoa-New Zealand and of other peoples?

                  If she and this country are so impotent, then she should have remained silent.

                  • Incognito

                    The NZ Minister of Foreign Affairs made a statement and you cannot read between the lines.

                    Nanaia Mahuta is “perfectly capable of speaking [the] truth forthrightly”.

                    Indeed, at a personal level, but as the Minister it is different what one [she] can and cannot say and how. You stubbornly refuse to acknowledge this because it doesn’t suit your narrative.

                    The same applies to spokespersons in general; they don’t speak in their personal capacity but in their professional one. That said, I’d think that many will and do believe the ‘truths’ they communicate on behalf of their bosses.

                    If she and this country are so impotent, then she should have remained silent.

                    Please stop with this all-or-nothing nonsense, this B&W ‘reasoning’. Lift your game, please.

                    PS I see that you’re receptive to constructive criticism, which I’ve never doubted all those times I ‘pleaded’ with you to lift your game here. We can all learn from each other here when we make a conscious effort 🙂

                    • Forget now

                      Isn't the Foreign Minister obliged to represent the position agreed by cabinet in their utterances? So Mahuta could choose the words she used, but not the message.

                      I am not about to download and read the entire cabinet manual, but this online statement of principles seem fairly clear (for legalese):

                      Ministers should keep their colleagues informed about matters of public interest, importance, or controversy. Where there is uncertainty about the type of consideration needed, Ministers should seek advice from the Prime Minister or the Secretary of the Cabinet…

                      In particular, {these} Ministers are required to consult… the Minister of Foreign Affairs on all proposals relating to international treaties


                      Condemning Israel, and announcing that Aotearoa stood fully behind Palestine would likely be an important, controversial matter of public interest. It would likely violate international treaties too – though I don't know which ones.

                    • Incognito []

                      Yes, Nanaia Mahuta, as the NZ Minister of Foreign Affairs, is limited at what she can say (and do). It is not a job for everyone, I’d imagine.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.2

        The Israelis went further than just evictions and demolitions… which is constant theme.

        This is what I think was the ultimate provocation

        Jerusalem: Teargas and stun grenades inside Al-Aqsa mosque


      • Jenny How to get there 1.1.3

        “We call on Israel to cease demolitions and evictions and for both sides to halt steps which undermine prospects for a two state solution.”
        Nanaia Mahuta

        Is Nanaia Mahuta statement, "fantasy"?

        David Shearer said it's also a "fantasy" the two-state solution promoted by many world leaders is even close to becoming a reality, with Israel deploying "disproportionate" force.

        Jewish settlers 'undermining' two-state solution for Israel and Palestine – Shearer (msn.com)

        Should we expect better of our Foreign Affairs Minister?

        • Incognito

          Should we expect better of our Foreign Affairs Minister?

          Such as? Feel free to show us that you know and can do better than the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Government as a whole.

          • Jenny How to get there

            Regarding the 'Two State Solution, the Minister is reading from a script. A script identical to that of the US State department.

            I don't know that I know better than our Minister of Foreign Affairs.

            But what I do know, is that the two state solution is a dead duck in the water.

            Israel is an apartheid state.

            Would you have suggested splitting up South Africa as a way of ending apartheid, with blacks in one part and whites in another?

            Israel is an apartheid settler state, citizens of Israel and its dominions, Gaza and the West Bank even within metropolitan Israel itself, under apartheid like laws, are discriminated based on their ethnicity and religion.

            Until there are equal rights for all people throughout Israel and its dominions,, there will be no end to the conflict.

            The Two-State-Solution is Dead, One-State is the Answer | HuffPost

            The general view in the Middle East is that the relentless proliferation of settlements throughout the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 has made the very concept of creating a viable Palestinian state, let alone one with East Jerusalem as its capital, unrealistic if not impossible.

  2. greywarshark 2

    The Middle East seems far from the middle of our consciousness. Hasan Abi is a very direct and informed speaker with immediacy.

    This is how Palestinians are being oppressed. Hasan Abi

    Syria's Kurds How will Turkey's 'safe zone' plan affect the Kurds?

  3. Adrian 3

    My wife is a well qualified nurse, MaN, post grad papers etc, and gets paid well, it’s hard to pin down weekly because of shift allowances etc. I say this as a declaration of interest.
    Now there is a story in the Herald today of a nurse claiming that a friend in Australia is getting in a week what she gets in a fortnight. This is difficult to reconcile when a cursory glance at a Health Times table in Australia illustrates nurse salaries in all bands. This claim is pretty hard to believe even if the local nurse is on starting wages and the one in Oz is a Director of Nursing, about as high as one can get as a nurse.

    The only possible explanation is if the Australian job is in a remote mining operation where there is a statuary requirement for a full medically staffed facility where few wish to work. There does seem to be a little bit of selective reporting involved here. Don’t get me wrong, nursing is difficult and demanding and underpaid and as I write this my wife is sleeping after a 13 hour night shift where she may well have had to do and experience things that even the most hardened ( and/or overpaid ) of people would blanche from.

    • greywarshark 3.1

      Hi Adrian that's good to hear and it is a very admirable profession – I find the nurses great when I have hospital care.

      And good to put the facts in place – seekers after truth wish to know it, not be misinformed by 'someone says'; exaggerated opinion which we tend to when chatting when captured on the page as fact doesn't do the job.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.2

      Yes. Its often an easy process to see weekly wages in Australia because their industry awards cover so many employers. These are mimimums and people do get more but it gives an idea of actual wage levels.

      The major centres wage rates are still less than 'outback' rates – for good reasons. Theres always people who 'chase' the money as their priority, but you can do that in NZ as well with agency work etc

      'The average remote area nurse salary in Australia is $117,500 per year or $60.26 per hour. Entry level positions start at $101,900 per year while most experienced workers make up to $158,898 per year.


      • greywarshark 3.2.1

        I think that Australians pay a number of different taxes to those in NZ though.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Different taxes ?

          They have GST , income tax ( different rates). Theres swings and roundabouts but dont know which different ones will make it change much

          • greywarshark

            I thought they had a few state taxes as well, and perhaps some accident insurance or something.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 3.3

      What are the goals of political parties in Parliament re the trans-Tasman wage gap(s)?

      In 2008 the National party campaigned on closing that gap – are they still keen to be seen to be doing something about it? Is it a priority for any political party; ACT maybe?

      "Our vision is to close the gap with Australia by 2025." – Hon John Key, PM

      Don Brash's letter resigning from the National Party.

      12 May 2011

      Rt Hon John Key
      Prime Minister
      Parliament Buildings

      Dear John

      It was with a very heavy heart that I felt obliged to resign my membership of the National Party and to seek the leadership of the ACT Party.

      I reached my decision after watching with mounting dismay the performance of your Government.

      Why are you widening, not closing, the trans-Tasman wage gap?

      In Opposition, we both expressed grave concern about the widening wage gap between New Zealand and Australia.

      You gave an excellent speech just before the 2008 election committing any government which you led to bridging that gap.

      After the election, you agreed to set up a Taskforce to advise how best to achieve that goal by 2025. You appointed me as chairman of that Taskforce.

      Yet to date, you’ve dismissed virtually every recommendation the Taskforce has made. I’ve asked several times if we could meet and discuss our two reports. Each time you’ve declined to meet me.

      From time to time, you’ve reaffirmed your commitment to the goal. But there’s not the slightest sign that you’re taking it seriously.

      Now you’ve abolished the Taskforce. And of course, the gap continues to grow.


      • millsy 3.3.1

        Even John Key knew that implementing these would plunge literally thousands of people into complete and utter hardship.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          An effective election campaign strategy tho, along with tackling the housing crisis.

  4. greywarshark 4

    Good news on farming on Radionz this morning.

    This was a super project. The farmers seem to have initiated it and it should be funded well and run forever, the farmers properly reimbursed as they say their own productivity goes down by 50% while they are demonstrating and supervising these young people. The teenagers, go straight from school, and those on the course seem to love it.

    Also a farmer talking about his stress and mental health to encourage other farmers having troubles.

    Wool use – good to see sheep getting their turn in the sun.

  5. greywarshark 5

    WTF Google is preventing access to the Bowalley Road blog with a red screen saying Deceptive address and a warning from Google Safe Browsing.

    Firefox blocked this page because it may trick you into doing something dangerous like installing software or revealing personal information like passwords or credit cards.

    What's that about?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      Its not a https secure website address. Give it a miss anyway as hes just concern trolling the palestinians

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        Thanks but I will decide whose opinions and info I will sample.

        • Forget now

          Maybe it's just Firefox? Chrome went through to Trotter's site fine when I clicked on the article link (in feeds box to the right of screen – under the recent comments list).

  6. greywarshark 6

    This on He Puapua report from TDB about PM Ardern's supposed statement that the government did not release it because the public would 'not understand' it. Cries of outrage have followed. But DX5 has looked up Hansard to see what was actually said – something different!

    DX5 May 14, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    RobbieWgtn: ‘The PM said that they didn’t release it publicly because “NZrs wouldn’t understand it”. Which unbridled arrogance will see National/Act lead the next Government.’

    I’ve seen ACT and Peter Williams running this line, but did she really say that? I heard her state that the release could be “misconstrued as Government policy”, not that people would fail to understand the report.

    From Hansard:

    David Seymour: Is the Prime Minister confident the Government’s been acting in an open and transparent manner in relation to the He Puapua report, and, if so, why did the Ombudsman have to become involved in an Official Information Act request to release it?

    Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: To answer the latter half of the question, the reason that Te Puni Kōkiri made the argument about not releasing the report was because of a concern that it would be misconstrued as Government policy. I rest my case.

    David Seymour: Is the Prime Minister saying that her Government cannot release reports taxpayers pay for because the people who pay for it might not properly understand it?

    Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Absolutely not.


    David Seymour: Is it the Government’s position that New Zealand deserves a debate or that the release of its documents should be supressed because poor little taxpayers might misconstrue it?

    Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: The member is completely mischaracterising my statement—[Interruption]

    SPEAKER: Order!

    Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Of course our reports that are considered by Cabinet are proactively released, it is part of how we behave as a Government. This report had not been considered by Cabinet. There was no ability, therefore, for us to put formally our positions on the report, thus the argument that was in the absence of that it could be misconstrued as Government policy. And, I have to say, the member has proven that assertion to be completely correct.

    • Morrissey 6.1

      Ardern vs. Seymour: talk about a mismatch of intellect.

    • Forget now 6.2

      Yay for primary sources Greyws!

      Though I find it hard to get too exercised about parliamentary debates – the thing that matters to me is what is written into law (and where funding is allocated). TDB is a bit diminished these days too, though I do still like some of the guest posts (McCarten's descriptions of life at the sharp edge of labour disputes have been grimly gripping reading recently).

      • greywarshark 6.2.1

        I haven't been on TDB for some time. I got exercised about Bradbury choosing n drawing of a man aiming a gun as the image for his item venting his spleen on the Auckland religious group who chose to ignore the Covid19 restrictions at the start, causing a huge search for contacts and a lockdown to sort it out. I was annoyed about that but got ropable about TDB virtually inciting violence. After Christchurch you would think he would be more restrained, but no. I decided he was a dweeb, a unique nutcase with not enough redeeming features. I think I complained but no go. I think he likes the image of being a crusading stallion crashing through barriers instead of jumping over them.

    • RobbieWgtn 6.3

      Please also include my response which wason the dailyblog site.

      "Jacinda is being disingenuous & the Govt has already committed to implementing it as govt policy.

      https://www.act.org.nz/he_puapua_needs_some_sunlight "

      [Repeating your lies and nonsense from TDB here on TS won’t get you far. In fact, you were called out on TDB; do you think you’ll get an easier ride here? The commenters here are generally much better behaved than on TDB but the TS Moderators are real pieces of work, much worse than Bomber 😉

      You seem to not be able to understand the difference between cause, effect, and consequence. In fact, it looks like you don’t understand NZ politics at all, which is probably why you provided that link as your crutch. Stop hobbling along and learn to walk.

      I’ve looked up your history here and it seems you’ve been trolling here before. If you keep it up, I will ban you permanently from this site. This is your warning – Incognito]

    • Incognito 6.4

      FWIW, I thought Trotter’s piece was quite bad; I nearly didn’t make it past his second paragraph, which was an absolute howler. For somebody who writes professionally for a living, it was particularly badly done and with mistakes. There are better ways to spend 5 minutes on a Saturday night than reading Trotter while dinner is in the oven.

  7. ghostwhowalksnz 7

    I see the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the main Lutheran denomination has elected Rev Megan Roher as its first openly trans Bishop, based in San FranciscoThe Reverend Megan Rohrer, who uses they/them pronouns, was elected bishop in in ELC’s Sierra Pacific synod

  8. Forget now 8

    Why is Biden's administration funding the USAn domestic terrorist group; The Proud Boys? That is one hell of a mistake, if it is indeed unintentional (though I am more imagining sympathizers within the bureaucracy turning a blind eye on glaring questions about the applications, rather than some diabolical plot from on high):

    In the loan documentation, which was obtained by the news non-profit ProPublica, after a Freedom of Information Act battle with the Small Business Administration, {chairman of the far-right Proud Boys group} Tarrio is described as an independent contractor, working in the “Security Systems Services” industry, but the document names no associated business entity… in the course of an abortive 2020 congressional run, Tarrio described himself as the proprietor of “several companies that were involved in the surveillance and security industry”.

    However, Tarrio was not found to be a licensed security officer in a search of Florida state records.

    Another company, “Warboys LLC”, was voluntarily dissolved on 7 April. Records show Tarrio as the registered agent for that company, and Joe Biggs and Ethan Nordean as officers.

    Biggs, also of Florida, and Nordean, of Washington state, are jointly facing federal conspiracy charges relating to their alleged participation in the riot at the Capitol…

    PPP loans were first issued under the Cares Act in 2020, under the Trump administration, as a stimulus measure to an economy battered by the Covid-19 pandemic. The program was revived in January 2021 under the Biden administration, and businesses were able to apply for loans up to 31 March. Tarrio’s loan was issued as part of the second round of PPP funding.

    One criterion for eligibility was that recipients not be a “business concern or entity primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities”. PPP loans are forgiven where it can be shown that at least 60% of money was spent on payroll costs. Independent contractors can use the loans to replace claimed lost earnings, and apply for forgiveness in order to keep the money.


    • McFlock 8.1

      Dude filled in a form.

      Hopefully, the dude got too creative and it's just another ticking clock in legal troubles for the insurrectionists.

      • Forget now 8.1.1

        He filled in a lot of forms; McFlock! Some of which appear to have been approved after the cutoff date of March 31st (only just noticed that on re-reading):

        Tarrio, based in Miami, Florida, was approved for an initial loan of $7,750 on 30 March, and a succeeding loan for the same amount on 16 April…

        the street address on the loan application is associated with both Tarrio and one of the LLCs for which he is named as an officer in Florida state records.

        Those records show Tarrio as an officer in a number of inactive LLCs, including “SPIE Security LLC”, “Fund The West LLC” and “Proud Boys LLC”.

        The best explanation I can think of is that the loan managers ("the Small Business Administration"?) were so flooded with applications that they didn't bother doing even basic checking of the applicants – and didn't get around to even that for a couple of weeks after the application period finished. We're not corrupt, just incompetent; is hardly the best excuse though. How many red flags do you need?

        edit: Nope, the Grauniad strikes again! That should be; May the 31st, for cutoff date.


        • McFlock

          If we're talking relief funds, any people actually looking at the forms should only be seeing if the filled in stuff matches the criteria to meet funding. The emphasis is on speed of payment.

          If someone's lied on the form or misused the funds, that gets picked up in an audit process weeks or months later. Sure, the media exposure probably helps Tarrio's form get put to the top of the audit list, but giving him money in the first place could actually be the sign of a well-working system.

          But then, as you say, Florida. If it's a local or state program, corruption would be a given. Not so much for Federal.

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