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Open mike 15/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 15th, 2010 - 127 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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127 comments on “Open mike 15/11/2010”

  1. Another bit of news you won’t find in our Corporate MSM.

    In January 2006 KBR a subsidiary of Halliburton was awarded $385 million in order to build temporary detention centres for Homeland security. These centres are build all over the US and are mostly empty to date. They are build for “emergencies”.

    I am a woman who grew up in post war Europe and these camps are making my skin crawl. Why? Because they look just like the German death camps. Lots of barbed wire and close to train tracks.

    Why are they building temporary detention centres all over the US? Want to know more?

    I apologise for the over the top American style presentation but watch this recent documentary presented by Governor Jesse Ventura 1, 2, 3,

    • Bored 1.1

      The legislation to fill these places is already in place, it just needs another “emergency” like a Reichstag fire, or an aeroplane flying into a building.

      • freedom 1.1.1

        it is worse than that, the USA is already in a technical State of Martial Law which can be enacted at the stroke of the Presidential Pen, without any event to warrant the action. Technically, the Pres could wake up one day and say fuck it, I rule!

        The Martial Law status was assigned back with President Clinton (the real one johnny)
        and has not been dissolved by either of the successors.

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      Haven’t watched your links, but ever since I heard about these back in 2007 I’ve linked it up with ‘peak oil riots’ in my mind.

      • Pascal's bookie 1.2.1

        The NWO/ZOG crowd have been going on about FEMA camps since at least the mid nineties. It’s a part of what the black helicopters are for dontcha know.

        way I see it, the US is an empire right? A big old clunky republican empire with a miliary industrial complex and a big fat bureaucracy. Know what those things do? Make plans. Lot’s of plans. Plans for attacking their neighbours. Plans for being attacked by their neighbours. Plans for their cities getting nuked. None of that implies intentions.

        It. just. doesn’t.

        So would a big old empire with:

        land borders to Mexico, and

        several multi-million population cities sited in various natural disaster zones, and

        enemies both foreign and domestic who may or may not decide to unleash fucking hell on them one day;

        have plans for their main federal emergency response agency with regard to housing potentially millions of people. Of course they fucking do.

        • travellerev 1.2.1.1

          Wow, what got up your wick PB?

          You think it is normal for any government to spend $385 million on prison camps with barbed wire and near train stations. all over the country? All of sudden out of the blue? Or do you think that maybe they see something in the future that requires a total lock down of society? Such as starvation, homelessness and a possible up rise from the population.

          Just plans and No intention of using them? Fuckin hell, tell that to the Jews and other survivors from Auschwitz and Sobibor. Let me tell you something for nothing, if governments build prison camps they have every intention of using them and I can predict what kind of people will end up in them too. People like me and you. People who ask questions and who criticise the ruling elite. That’s how empires and dictatorships have always operated and that’s what’s going to happen this time and it will happen again and again as long as we don’t stand up to the ruling elites.

          • Pascal's bookie 1.2.1.1.1

            I’ve heard all this before eve. The other day you got upset when accused of being somehow similar to right wing militia stuff. This FEMA camp stuff is straight from there. That link about ‘informed citizens’ is straight out of there, it’s what they are talking about.

            OMG the govt is coming to get your guns, they are targetting concerned right wing patriots, unjustly blaming them for the terrorist acts they commit! Buy gold, and arm yourself!

            It’s just this:

            http://www.realzionistnews.com/?p=448

            with it’s media face on.

            • travellerev 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Have you watched the doco? This doco was aired on last Friday night in the US.

              These buildings are real the really have inward bending fences with real barbed wire. The senator who cosponsored the bill to build these facilities which by the way is linked to the KBR site stating (first comment) they are temporary prison facilities really denies that they exist and the hundreds of thousands of plastic coffins which had been lying in the same spot since appr 2006 were moved to another place after they were filmed.

              I don’t get upset by being called anything PB. Sticks and stones I remember writing. I just don’t subscribe to the left right paradigm.

              I do however object to being bundled in with anti-Semites via a link to a website and I don’t think Jesse Ventura or Alex Jones have ever uttered an anti Semite phrase either.
              That is just a nasty low way of trying to shut me up but then again it says more about you then about me.
              Quit frankly I hope that the moderators disable the link to that nasty piece of shite you just tried to smear me with and perhaps you might want to reconsider how you debate me in the future because if I recall correctly the moderators do appreciate strong debate but calling people names in such a nasty fashion doesn’t go down too well here.

              And for you information I don’t own a gun.

              • Pascal's bookie

                I didn’t try and smear you with it eve. I didn’t call you anything. I just pointed out that this FEMA camp business has been talked about for a long long time. It is an old story that was doing the rounds in the NWO/ZOG circles in the nineties.

                That link you gave is about militia types complaining that law enforcement is unfairly targetting them and what not. It’s all part of the same deal.

                Seriously, if you want to get into these areas, go for it. But be careful. You need to use some discernment. I know you are not the militia type, but you need to do research on those types if you are going to play in the same pool as them.

                • Go fuck yourself PB,

                  Linking to a piece of shit like that saying the doco is just that with a nice media coating is clearly trying to smear me by association.

                  According to the constitution of America the People of America are entitled to carry arms and this was especially because they did not trust the government to do the right thing and it is their constitutional right and duty to form militia’s if they so much as feel threatened by the powers that be. That has nothing to do with Anti-Semitism and everything with being a patriot and a good American.

                  With camps going up and banks ripping off the population and no jobs to be had because they only bail the banks out but not the population I would be tempted to get a gun if I lived in the states. You should read the constitution and the (banking) history of the US and then come back and debate me but never ever try to fuck me over again with your vile links.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Yeah that’s right eve. They’re all just Sovereign Citizens eh.

                    • I don’t know them, do you? I only know what the media wants me to know and so do you. Armed men prepared to fight against their government are very scary especially for the bastards in power so I’m sure that the mainstream media has every incentive to vilify them. I’m also sure that a lot of them are racist red neck idiots but they are entitled to defend themselves against their government and a lot of Americans take that very serious.

                      And it still does not justify you smearing me with websites which are hateful and extreme. I never propagated anti Semitism or other racist opinions and if it’s al the same to you I will let this be my last interaction with you unless you care to apologise.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      I didn’t smear you. I said that the ideas you are spreading stem from the GWO/ZOG crowd from the nineties. I suggested you be more discerning about things.

                      I suggested that because I don’t think you know about where some of the things you are are linking to come from, and that you wouldn’t agree with those things and that you would be concerned about where some of your ideas were coming from.

                      So nah, I won’t be apologising for that.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Some interesting links. Alex Jones’ kind of people:

                      http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/gun-toting-arizona-protester-belongs

                      http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/oath-keepers-arms-about-nh-officials

                      Obviously just being vilified by the MSM though. Nothing to see here, move along.

                  • The Voice of Reason

                    “According to the constitution of America the People of America are entitled to carry arms and this was especially because they did not trust the government to do the right thing and it is their constitutional right and duty to form militia’s if they so much as feel threatened by the powers that be.”

                    I hate to say it, but’s that’s the view of history that the gun nuts, survivalists and republicans believe, Ev. The liberal view in the states is that the right to bear arms and form militias was to allow localised defence against external forces. Remember, the constitution was formed at a time when the US was not a connected whole, with very little urbanisation and a series of forts as the main military presence and there were threats from the Spanish, English and French, not to mention native americans and Mexicans disputing the theft of their land. It made sense to allow the citizens of frontier towns the ability to defend themselves against those threats. The idea that the threat comes from the federal government is a far more recent meme, but it is built on the two hundred year old dispute about the right balance between state and federal power.

                    While I think your rejection of the left/right paradigm is fine, it does seem to mean you fail to recognise the conservatism of the sources you cite. I don’t have a problem with Jesse Ventura, who portrays himself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, but his TV program is an obvious play to the kind of people who beleive the governent is out to get them. The title itself should be a clue, eh!

                    This is a left wing site, after all. If you want to advocate the beliefs of Truthers/Tea party/Survivalists etc. you have to expect a vigorous response around here, even if you personally don’t recognise the politics of the issue.

                    And by uncritically quoting right wing sources such as Alex Jones etc. you diminish your argument. If you want to convince readers here, find left wing citations. Hell, why not write a guest post making the left wing case for your beliefs? Even if you don’t like that left/right divide, I’m sure you can put yourself in that mode for the purposes of trying to make an argument that readers here might find sympathy with.

                    • I’m sure you are right about the interpretation of the constitution. I have never said that I support militia’s or gun nutters. I also Agree that Alex Jones has some very scary opinions and that while I share with him our views on 911 I don’t have a whole lot in common but that does not mitigate PB’s attempt to smear me with one of the vilest Anti Semitic websites I have seen in a long time and insinuating that Ventura’s doco is just that dressed up with a PC coating.

                      I am perfectly happy to defend statements I make and expect nothing less than vigorous opposition but to declare me guilty by association of Anti Semitism via links to such websites are just not on.

                      Here is a nice link to a very reasonable writer who writes about trust. More especially about how trust is the most important lubricant for any society.

                      If camps with barbed wire fences are build all over America (see links above) very reminiscent of the German death camps which are empty and nobody tells the population why they are there, lies are told about why Iraq needs to be attacked, banks are bailed out jobs are gutted and wages are dropping causing people to loose their homes and having to live on food stamps at some stage some of those people are going to take measures to defend themselves.

                      Clearly a lot of people in the States have trust issues, justified or not, and they do what they feel is necessary. From were I stand (with 911 science proving the official CT a load of crock), they are probably right. But that does not mean I subscribe to every political view they have. 911 is perhaps in most cases the only thing tying me to those people that’s all (And I don’t know how much of those in militias are actually aware of 911 and the problems with the official CT).

                      I don’t have a gun because I believe in being the change you want to see in the world which in my case is it being a peaceful world were I don’t have to have gun to protect myself.

                      I foresee a collapse of the US and therefore China and India (since they earn their money primarily through selling shit and services to the US) Peak oil will put an end to international trade to the point of isolating far away countries such as New Zealand unless we find alternative sources of energy. (Something my husband is still very busy with and at the moment he drives a car with a hydrogen cell (WOFed and all) which saves about thirty percent of his fuel costs) and I believe in cutting my cost of living by growing my own food which makes us less susceptible to price rises plus it is more sustainable then buying you pork from Canada and your veggies from China.

                      I believe in compassion and sharing and that includes information which I believe might be important whether that info is looked at and assimilated is another thing altogether. It most certainly does not warrant PB attacking me as he did.

                      I believe that Israel’s leadership is racist and their politics are detrimental to their own population and Americas this is an opinion I share with many Jews both left and right wing. That does not make me anti Semitic. In fact this is a film made by a group of anti Zionist Jews put online by Gilad Atzmon called the anti Semitic side of Zionism, a must watch if you want to be up and running with what many Jews think of the subject of Israel.

                      In fact if any of you actually thinks that America is justified in attacking Afghanistan and Iraq or other Muslims in Arab countries for what ever reason than that makes you officially anti Semitic as many Muslims are Semites too.

                      We are aware that there are some people who think that it was Jews who did 911. They are isolated and ostracised by the majority of 911 truthers for the bigoted racist assholes they are. To equate my sincere and well documented comments here with those people is just the latest and saddest attempt at silencing me. Not Cool, VOR not cool at all.

                      From what left wing point of view. The armchair socialists? There is no real left wing movement any more. Real left wingers would have pointed the finger at the government a long time ago for 911. They would remember every fucking time the government pulled another false flag out of their heads and remembered.

                    • The Baron

                      I don’t think anyone is trying to silence you, Eve.

                      They are simply pointing out that these theories are shared by some pretty nutty people. That doesn’t mean that you are nutty, but it does mean that you will have to risk being associated with those nutties.

                      They are also pointing out that there can be some other explanations for these camps that are less nutty.

                      This does not mean that anyone is attacking you, trying to silence you, or are agents of some vast conspiracy. It simply means that other people have other opinions, and they want to engage with you on those. I suggest you try listening and engaging with them.

                    • Baron,

                      Giving a link to a racist bigoted Jew hating website and saying that a link to a doco I gave is the same but with a PC coat is not engaging in a fair debate. That is trying to smear me with a pretty broad brush. There are racist bigots everywhere, In fact New Zealand on the whole is shockingly racist compared to Dutch standards and no, that doesn’t mean that every New Zealander is racist but the accepted level of racism permeating every layer of New Zealand society is absolutely gross compared to what I’m used to.
                      So does that mean I can’t quote New Zealanders?
                      Yes, Baron that is a way of silencing. Not in a conspiracy sort of way but in a dumb patronising and above all unfair way.
                      In the years I have commented here I have never ever engaged in racist bigotism and to use that is nasty small minded and yes I’ll say it again SILENCING.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Once again eve, that is not what I did.

                      I’m talking about the ideas.

                      The FEMA camps meme comes directly from the NWO/ZOG stuff from the nineties. The Patriot movement. The militia movement. Posse Comitatus. The Sovereign citizen movement. Those are the circles this stuff comes from. Further back it ties to the birchers.

                      I’m not saying you or Venture are of that movement. I’m not, and I didn’t say that. So stop saying that’s what I did.

                      I’m saying that that is where the idea that you are both repeating comes from. You trying to turn that around to say that I’m attacking you could just as easily be interpreted as you trying to silence me. To prevent me saying where these ideas stem from. Is that info off limits?

                      I specifically said that I mentioned it because I suspected you don’t know where this rhetoric comes from. If you are aware of the links, then you need to be explicit about it upfront.

                      I mentioned it precisely because I don’t think that this is what you are like, and that by mentioning it I might somehow get through to you that you need to use a lot of discernment when you are moving in conspiricist circles. there is nasty nasty stuff out there and you are treading right up to the line on it.

                      You started out, and you are very concerned about, the horrors of mid twentieth century europe. Those ideas take power through rhetoric and fear. You mentioned civic trust. Do you not see that these theorists are seeking to destroy that trust?

                    • Armchair Critic

                      Baron at 2:54
                      Nicely put. What I’ve been wanting to say, in a lot less words.

        • Lanthanide 1.2.1.2

          So they’re prepared. They’ve built facilities in advance of any problem at all occurring. Sure, natural disasters are possible, but I don’t think they used these camps to help Katrina victims. In the medium term, it seems that peak oil could easily lead to widespread discontent within the US, and they’ve got all these nice facilities sitting around…

          So maybe they weren’t built for PO specifically. Doesn’t mean they won’t be used for dealing with it.

          • travellerev 1.2.1.2.1

            I think that the inward pointing barbed wire fences is a dead give away really. In the doco one of the guards states that the barbed wire pointing inward (great for keeping people in against their will) is for the protection of the incarcerated. Huh?

          • mcflock 1.2.1.2.2

            Let’s see – Katrina hit in 2005, travellerev reckons the contract for the “camps” was in 2006.

            Oh, and the linked article says that it’s Customs & Enforcement section of homeland security.
            SO Bush paid his mates in KBR to pay the army to make these facilities for immigration detention and/or “emergency” purposes, after Katrina. And he paid them a lot to oversupply – bugger me that’s out of character, it never occurred with their cost-plus logistics contracts in Iraq.

            How many black helicopters land at these camps after mutilating cows? God I miss the 90s.

      • travellerev 1.2.2

        Yeah that could very well be. If you have ever heard Gerald Celente’s trends forecasts then you will also be aware of the his prediction of tax riots and food riots Based on the collapse of the dollar due to the QE money printing procedures. The fact is that some 400 prison camps (both newly build and converted from other industrial areas etc) are now waiting, most empty but some of them already in use to house whole families (illegal aliens etc.) One of which is shown in the doco.

        What scares the shit out of me is that with more than 40 million people on food stamps in August alone those food riots won’t be far away and with at least 10 or more foreclosures in the pipeline the number of homeless will rise quickly. Celente has a nice one. “When people have nothing left to loose they loose it.” That would be a lot of angry people.

        The police is now trained to see well informed citizens as terrorists. You get the idea.

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.2.1

          US will do fine until it experiences its first failed Treasuries auction. Then, run for the hills. With lots of weapons, water and ammunition.

          • Lanthanide 1.2.2.1.1

            It’ll probably be more of a grey area than that. It is likely that the treasuries auctions can’t “fail” in the way you propose – eg the FED will come in and print money in order to buy out the auction (aren’t they doing this already?), and then the next auction may be postponed after the usual date or some-such. It is probably after 2-3 or more of these ‘failed-in-all-but-name’ auctions that the jig would be up.

            Basically it’s a question of what the suckers in the US, and internationally, will swallow, in order to kick the can down the road, even if only for a few extra months.

  2. Bored 2

    This is from George Monbiot, outlining a nasty trend from the top down. Its called putting the costs on the masses, avoiding the tops share of the costs. How much of this happens in NZ I am not sure, but I would really like some reassurance.

    It’s arguable that the UK government does not have a spending crisis; it has a tax avoidance crisis. Official accounts suggest that the tax gap amounts to £42bn(2). Richard Murphy of Tax Research has demonstrated that this figure cannot be correct, as it contradicts other government statistics. He estimates that avoidance now amounts to £25bn a year, evasion to £70bn, and outstanding debts to the tax service to £28bn: a total of more than £120bn(3).

    That’s roughly three-quarters of the budget deficit(4). It’s equivalent to 80% of the UK’s revenue from income tax(5). By comparison, benefit fraud, which both the government and the rightwing press emphasised in order to justify the cuts, amounts to £1.1bn a year(6). No one would claim that all this missing money could be recovered. But even if only 20% were clawed back, the most damaging cuts could be reversed.

    http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2010/11/09/the-lax-tax-pact/

    I suspect that what happens in UK happens here, as evidenced by the banks failure to comply with IRD regs in the last few years. Nact sits idly by demanding cuts at the bottom whilst the corporates run away from the costs.

    • ianmac 2.1

      Avoidance is a fancy name for hiding income in Trusts and drawing down a tiny salary after paying all running costs. It would be interesting to know how much tax is actually paid by these rich/poor people.
      A friend by the way, had a go at creating a Company with his salary as his sole income, and then claiming his daily operating costs like food, clothing, shelter, transport as tax deductible. His plan was blocked by IRD. Pity really.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      Capitalists have, throughout history, manipulated government and the rules to enrich themselves at everyone else’s expense and when the bill falls due they blame the less well off, the people that they’ve been stealing from. Does it happen here? Yes.

    • Vicky32 2.3

      I am sure it does happen here! The screeching about benefit fraud certainly does…
      Deb

      • Descendant Of Smith 2.3.1

        Many of the trusts that I have seen are ostensibly welfare trusts – e.g. set up for the welfare of the beneficiaries of the trust.

        As the general principle in the welfare system is that you first should utilise available resources surely these trusts should be accessed first before state assistance otherwise surely the documents are a fabrication and have no real legal purpose.

        Surely the trustees are remiss for not providing for a (trust) beneficiaries support if they lose their job, become unwell or need to go into a rest home.

        If the trusts were first forced into acting to support their stated purpose then this would surely go a long way to removing the rorting that is going on.

        The first step is clearly to ensure it is compulsory that all trust beneficiaries are notified that they are such and all trusts registered publicly. All state assistance should require then that people are asked if they are a beneficiary of a trust and these details checked against that register.

  3. joe90 3

    From Alternet, Why Germany Has It So Good — and Why America Is Going Down the Drain.

    Germany has somehow managed to create a high-wage, unionized economy without shipping all its jobs abroad or creating a massive trade deficit, or any trade deficit at all. And even as the Germans outsell the United States, they manage to take six weeks of vacation every year. They’re beating us with one hand tied behind their back.”

    • prism 3.1

      joe90 How does Germany rate on gender equality? In the past women tended to be the hausfrau in the traditional inferior position – at a lower level than nz I thought when I was there in 1970s.

  4. Cnr Joe 4

    Hah! just heard Dunne on am report – 8.43 – he might try a ‘virtual conference’ next time…..

    • felix 4.1

      Makes sense I suppose for a virtual political party.

    • ianmac 4.2

      He did say that his 40-50 people at a national conference was pretty good – normal for a small party. Really?

      • Borred 4.2.1

        Must be a pack of very strange people running lose out there: i suspect they couted their dogs and cats as well.

      • Lanthanide 4.2.2

        I was expecting him to say something like 100-300.

        How many did Winston get, and he isn’t even in parliament?

  5. sophie 5

    Oh dear – Russia thinks it has signed up for free trade negotiations with a small island nation in the South Pacific called Newzild-acshully.

    • What is more the Honourable Glorious Leader of this small state can read russian.

      Apparently Honourable Glorious leader said:

      Kremlin.ru/news – I’ll be checking it out when I get home – it’s a very good site,”

    • prism 5.2

      No worries we have managed to trade with Russia through all sorts of difficulties – it’s not new despite Muldoon and Wall’s dancing Cossacks. I seem to remember a time we couldn’t trade using international finance and instead used barter. We will find a way to trade with anyone – we traded with Iran at the time of great upheavals there when red ink was put in the fountains to simulate them gushing blood (and they were thinking of western blood).

      • Vicky32 5.2.1

        “I seem to remember a time we couldn’t trade using international finance and instead used barter.”
        Lada cars, I remember my brother telling me…
        Deb

  6. prism 6

    In case some didn’t hear the item on Radio NZ about big gender inequality in nz directorships. This summation is good – of the present tendency in appointments leading to boards which are “Male, pale and stale”. (And inequality in race also no doubt).

    The old boys network all from similar schools and backgrounds plus pecking order with a preference for men with multiple directorships leads to an aggregation amongst a smaller number with few opportunities for new fresh directors to break into the scrum!

  7. prism 7

    Radionz talking to Australian correspondent this morning about Pauline Hansen who left Oz for good some time ago but finds foreign countries spoilt by the foreigners there. So is coming back to Oz and may stand again for another go at a political career. (Sarah Palin etc. Women’s lib has a lot to answer for, women used to know their place and stay there.)

    There was a comment made of Hansen being accused of being a career politician and mention of money available to those putting themselves forward for election. What would that be? Is it government money for electioneering expenses? Sounds different to here.

    captcha – acted

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      At the time when I heard she was going to the UK to avoid all the immigrants in Oz, I really thought it was just a ‘fact-finding mission’ and she’d be back to Oz with all these ideas about how the UK managed their immigrant problem. Looks like that’s about what happened.

      She was also trying to sell her house, and IIRC there was an muslim couple who wanted to pay her above-market value for it (well over $1M). Anyone know how that turned out?

      captcha: women

      • prism 7.1.1

        Lanth – Do you know what funds would be available if she stood for election again?
        Whatever the situation we can do without it here in NZ.

  8. prism 8

    Just been on the phone to Telstra Clear to get an a/c matter fixed and enjoyed their efficient private-company service. 40 consecutive mins later I have finished with answers to my enquiries. One was to cancel my voice messaging which I continued after changing from Telecom. But Telstra system didn’t enable me to increase the default rings from four because my phone is too old, just didn’t work for some reason.

    So I had to buy a new one before I get the proper use of my phone. I have cancelled voice messaging altogether. A case of a big company losing business that must have been easy money. And being efficient no doubt. They efficiently announced at the beginning that the average or longest waiting time was 11 minutes so I got some work to do, but what a service! Say 30 minutes waiting and 10 minutes at the most interchange.

    If it had been an SOE it might have been better, and the government would be getting cash in its pocket. The two people I spoke to sounded Indian, pleasant and helpful, a little hard to understand, presumably outsourced staff while we have unemployed people here who also would do a good job.

    captcha regions hah!

    • Vicky32 8.1

      I know Vodafone’s people are in Egypt – one of them told when I advised him to “go to an internet cafe in Queen Street and see if it works” (their website which wasn’t working) and he informed me as to why he wasn’t going to follow my suggestion…
      Deb

  9. Tigger 9

    Different takes on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact discussions at APEC from Campbell http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2010/11/15/gordon-campbell-key%E2%80%99s-illusory-free-trade-gains/ and Armstrong http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10687666

    Why does Armstrong sound like he’s talking about a ten year old girl’s dance competition when he says “The Prime Minister had a very good Apec.” Seriously, isn’t APEC about Key achieving stuff rather than seen to be a ‘player’?

  10. prism 10

    A lot is interesting me today – thought others might also be, so I hope.
    Reverse home equity got an airing on Radionz this a.m. An older couple took out an $88,500 one at 10.4% pa compounding interest. In two years the total had risen to $110,000 or so. When they asked about breaking the mortgage they were quoted the sum of $225,000. They had the idea that the cost would be just $20,000. (Figures subject to accuracy of memory, not guaranteed.) SO Beware!

    Apparently it is all worked out by a third party, who shall remain anonymous, by an algorithm also anon. Probably called Hal. They are no doubt charging the couple with all the potential profits and payments they factored in for the lifetime of the contract. Now the couple have to pay for theoretical losses from future theoretical profits instead of the costs of withdrawing and rearranging the finance, plus staff time, plus penalty, loss of profit until the money can be utilised elsewhere and perhaps some opportunity cost. Those are possibe considerations – but not $225,000.

    The firm is Bluestone Australia (a bigger and harder entity than a bluechip apparently) operating under the aegis of Westpac.

    • freedom 10.1

      “Probably called Hal”

      freedom (belatedly) leaps in to defend HAL who it was proven had been corrupted by the human programmers
      “Hal doesn’t know how to lie. He was told to lie by people who find it easy to lie”

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    The Phone Call Is Dead

    Mike likes to rub it in MG’s face that the iPhone can’t actually make calls due to terrible AT&T reception, but the truth is that we iPhone users (and to greater extent smartphone users in general) are not primarily using our phones to make calls. We may carry around things we call “phones” but to us they’re just pocket-sized computers.

    I keep a pre-pay (non-smart) phone for those people who are out of touch with reality. I don’t actually use it myself and have no need for a mobile computer.

    • The Baron 11.1

      I guess that little prepay phone runs hot whenever anyone feels they need a better grip on things, Draco. But oh well since you don’t like it/don’t have a need for it, I guess they’ll be banned after the revolution too – along with bananas.

      Wow you either have a bad case of god comple or just a massive ego.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        Did you read the article? It’s all about how use of voice calls is dying. I just pointed out that I’m one of those people who no longer use a phone.

        • The Baron 11.1.1.1

          Dud you read my comment? All I’m pointing out is that you sound like an arrogant twat everytime you say things like this:

          “I keep a pre-pay (non-smart) phone for those people who are out of touch with reality.”

          Reality hotline, Draco speaking. Yes you can print your own money – but no bananas for you.

          • felix 11.1.1.1.1

            That’s a bit silly Baron. Draco is on record many times saying that banks shouldn’t be allowed to print their own money.

          • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1.2

            Ah, you obviously got upset by being compared, even if indirectly, to a Luddite.

            • The Baron 11.1.1.1.2.1

              Out of interest, what is the number for the reality hotline Draco? I’m feeling out of touch!

        • Vicky32 11.1.1.2

          I do! (A prepay non-smart one.) I couldn’t live without it now I have it, but didn’t have one for years after everyone else did.) 🙂
          Deb

    • lprent 11.2

      ….have no need for a mobile computer.

      I do. If I didn’t have a cellphone I wouldn’t be able to read half of the stuff that goes on in this site. I do a lot of the scanning whilst I have ‘dead’ time on the bus-stop and bus.

  12. BLiP 12

    Prime Minister John Key said today that he ordered “pretty much” exactly the same breakfast from room service that US President Barrack Obama ordered.

    “It was amazing”, Mr Key said to panting reporters, “I just felt like eggs bennedict, fruit and English breakfast tea. It wasn’t until the waiter mentioned it was the same breakfast ordered by the Presidential Suite that I knew He was eating the same as me . . . except he ordered coffee. And muesli.”

    Mr Key’s tour-de-force diplomatic mission to haul Japan and APEC into line with international free trade standards continues this afternoon when he will sit next to the brother-in-law of the first cousin, once removed of Naikaku sōri daijin.

    Update at 6pm.

    • ianmac 12.1

      BLip. Is that the same as a friend who was at the QE11 Stadium years ago, and challenged John Walker to a race around the the track. The challenge was not accepted so my friend won by default.
      When I asked this friend about the circumstances of his presence at QE11 he said, “Oh there was no-one there. I just wandered in to have a look at the empty venue. But I can say John Walker did not accept my challenge.”
      Claim to fame you see.

      • BLiP 12.1.1

        Heh! Yeah, I guess. Except, not only did John Key state that he “almost” sat next to Obama, one newspaper (at least?) thought the claim was sufficient to merit publication. You’re friend, I suspect, was taking the piss – John Key and his fawning entourage were serious.

        Jokes aside, it is serious when the media is complicit in the “brand association” tactic. Check out every story about Key’s trip and you’ll find a link, however, tenuous to Obama.

    • freedom 12.2

      and being at the same hotel, they used the same toilet paper too,
      well John used his to wipe his nose, but still

  13. The Voice of Reason 13

    Travellerev: We seem to have run out of room on the thread above, but to be clear, if you rely on anti-semites to back your arguments, then I guess logic suggests that you are indeed guilty by association. But it was PB saying that, not me. Me? I’m pro Israeli, pro Palestinian and anti racist and anti zionist.

    The reason I asked if you’d consider trying to find some left wing links that back your position is because I spent a fruitless couple of hours last week trying to do just that, without success. I thought I owed it to you and the other two to at least investigate the possibility that Trutherism could be left wing. Turns out it’s not. It seems to the exclusive property of people who believe the US federal government is conspiring against it’s own citizens in order to build a world government. A fair few supporters are convinced that it is, indeed, a Jewish conspiracy.

    You may not accept that view yourself, but it is the dominant philosophical position of the Truther movement and you are wrong to say that racist arseholes are rejected. They are not rejected because they appear to form the majority of the adherents to the fantasy. Which I think is what Bookie was trying to point out. Go ahead and try to find left wing links in support of the Truthers. There are bugger all. Compare that with right wing links and you will find that your movement is overwhelmingly conservative, with an activist base that is borderline nuts.

    Please feel free to prove me wrong. I’m sure the mod’s would welcome a post that makes the case for lefty readers of the Standard to get on board with the Truthers. I just don’t think it’s possible to do so.

    • freedom 13.1

      We will say this once more… It is not the US Government, it is factions within the US Government, and all Governments on this planet

      Why must you constantly put this incorrect statement in your discussions, the plan for Globalisation is out in the open, the sooner you believe it the sooner you can be prepard to face the consequences

  14. Colonial Viper 14

    So, asks the New York Times, who will stand up to the super-rich?

    The top 1 percent of American earners took in 23.5 percent of the nation’s pretax income in 2007 — up from less than 9 percent in 1976. During the boom years of 2002 to 2007, that top 1 percent’s pretax income increased an extraordinary 10 percent every year. But the boom proved an exclusive affair: in that same period, the median income for non-elderly American households went down and the poverty rate rose.

  15. Vicky32 15

    MPs’ travel perks are going! Pansy Wong is the straw that broke the camel’s back (cliche alert, 3 News!!!)

    Deb

  16. felix 16

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/4347123/PM-says-travel-perk-should-be-dumped

    I see that Pansy Wong’s electorate office doubles as the registered office for at least two of her/her husband’s companies. I wonder how much they’re ripping off the public purse with that little scam. Do the companies pay rent? Use the phones? Gee I hope the electorate staff don’t do any work for the Wongs’ businesses.

    Oh and one of those companies – Shipley and Wong – is half-owned by Former National Party PM Jenny Shipley and co-directed by her husband Burton Shipley.

    Why am I not surprised?

  17. Sean Brooks 17

    Why isnt the teacher who called a female student a sl*t fired?

    • felix 17.1

      Good question.

    • The Voice of Reason 17.2

      Because she doesn’t exist, Sean. You actually mean the school dean who said a particularly obnoxious student’s slutty dress sense made “look like a slut”. Not the same thing at all. And good on her! Not the best choice of words, but you’d have to agree with the no nonsense approach.

      BTW, if you’re actually interested in why she will not be getting disciplined, try reading the full article, not just the headline.

      • felix 17.2.1

        So telling a child “you look like a slut” is substantially less disgraceful than “you are a slut”?

      • Pascal's bookie 17.2.2

        What does a slut look like? What’s a slut for that matter?

        Not unrelated:

        This is some bullshit too:

        http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/too-much-stimulation-ok-to-sell-male.html

        • NickS 17.2.2.1

          But dontcha know, it’s bad for teh ladies to know they can also fix their sex issues with drugs, cause like it’s all in their minds?!

          Mind you, it’s hardly unexpected given the massive “moral outrage” over a nipple a couple of years back. Also, why can’t we have viagra adds with gay couples for a change? It’s not like erectile dysfunction is just a hetero-male thing…

          What does a slut look like? What’s a slut for that matter?

          Dudebros believe it to be a women who not only likes and demands good sex, but will tell them to fuck off if she doesn’t like them. It also refers to drunk chicks who are too drunk to give consent, and anyone with the somewhat vanilla kink of public exhibition.

          There’s also the women calling other women “slut” issue (not the playful version), but my knowledge base lies mainly with dudebros and less with retarded primate social power structure stupidity and other things such as advanced patriarchy blaming explanations.

        • Vicky32 17.2.2.2

          In this context, a slutty looking girl is one who is in danger of having her intentions misunderstood… There were more tactful ways the dean could have put it, but reading the article, I am with the Dean.
          ” Amethyst, on the other hand, is guilty of a whole lot of stuff, namely breaking school rules, but more importantly, she is headed in the wrong direction. She has been absent from classes, getting in trouble with her teachers and last week was involved in a physical altercation with a male pupil.

          The length of her skirt is a trivial matter, but it is a matter Newlands College has chosen to make an issue of. School guidelines require girls’ skirts to touch the ground when they kneel. By Amethyst’s own admission, her skirt was about 10cm above that target. ”
          When I was at school, centuries ago, according to my son, uniform rules were a lot stricter. (To the point of being ridiculous – panama hats and ties for goodness’ sake – for girls! And wse froze our assets off in winter etc… Nevertheless, we didn’t wear jewellery, and the girls who hiked their skirts up were rebuked. So we got on with what we were supposed to be there for – learning!
          And it worked. We all did pretty well..
          Deb

          • Pascal's bookie 17.2.2.2.1

            I’ve got no problem with a school enforcing it’s rules. I’m still not clear on why a slut is someone who is in danger of having their intentions misunderstood. Trav misunderstood my intenetions in this thread. Am I a slut? I don’t wear a skirt though, short or otherwise so that can’t be right.

            Should a teacher, for whatever reason, tell a young woman that wearing a short skirt is what sluts do? That if she wears a short skirt then, what, exactly? What about the boys at the school. Is this a helpful message for them to hear?

            • Vicky32 17.2.2.2.1.1

              AFAIK the teacher (the Dean) had only good intentions – she wanted to wake up the girl’s ideas, and point out to her that she was advertising herself in a way that boys (being boys, and I have raised boys) might misinterpret.
              I know in an ideal world it wouldn’t matter how a girl or woman dressed, but this is not an ideal world. People see a girl or a woman wearing what my Dad used to call a “bum-freezer” or with a plunging neckline, and they’re going to make assumptions. I am sure you have read that women in business who dress in an ‘obvious’ manner, if they are successful get accused of getting their promotions by shtupping the boss. Or – the boss refuses to take them as anything other than eye-candy and they *don’t* succeed, because their bosses and colleagues don’t look at their brains and their work, but their blouses and their nethers…
              Encouraging girls to dress appropriately for where they are can be and often *is* a feminist action.
              Deb

              • NickS

                /facepalm

                http://ideologicallyimpure.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/newlands-college-to-be-awarded-grand-woman-shaming-prize-at-secret-patriarchy-conference/

                And of course it’s entirely feminist to bow down to what is obviously a fucktarded bit of conformist patriarchal douchebaggery and not bother standing up not just for you own rights, but those of others. With a massive side of victim blaming in linking clothing to sexism etc, and assuming that the clothing someone wears gives people the right to deny another their rights.

                You’d think years of activism would have made people realise that standing up for your rights is the only way to fight those who would deny you them, but no…

                • Vicky32

                  There’s the ideal world in which girls/women can dress as they choose, and not meet with horrible and unintended consequences. Then there’s the real world in which Amethyst lives, and in which I as a woman live, and in which we will always be judged by what we wear…
                  I am reminded of the issue of hijab. It’s mostly men who yell that women can’t possibly *want* to wear it, and insist that women who do, have been “brainwashed by patriarchy”.
                  Er – no. They *want* to cover up because they want not to have to deal with judgements about their attractiveness. Years ago, I like my younger sister had what was jokingly called the “great 40-inch”.. (bust obviously) and she and I got sick of saying “my face is up here, mate”.
                  As I said, the real world, although the ideal one would be lovely.

                  • NickS

                    And I’m going to repeat myself:

                    You’d think years of activism would have made people realise that standing up for your rights is the only way to fight those who would deny you them, but no…

                    Meh, too tired and stressed to add to this.

      • NickS 17.2.3

        http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2010/04/04/what-is-slut-shaming/

        Read it.

        Understand it.

        And if you start mansplaining, I’ll skip the 2 citalopram I take every day just for you so I may wield the all mighty fucked off feminist cluebat. /grumble grumble.

  18. Roflcopter 18

    So, Liz Tanielu is a dumb-ass coconut?

    Way to go lefties! Doing Mana proud!

    • felix 18.1

      ??

      edit: Ah I see, DPF posted something so you can all pretend not to be racists for a few hours. Let’s see how that goes, shall we?

    • felix 18.2

      Aaaaand a quick scan of the kiwiblog thread shows you, Roflcopter, exposing your ugly racist nature 3 minutes before you rode over here on your high horse.

      What a fuckwit.

      • Roflcopter 18.2.1

        Ummm no, because on Lita’s logic, I’m allowed to…. so fuck off.

        • Pascal's bookie 18.2.1.1

          You’ve always been allowed to dumbarse. It’s whether you should.

          • Roflcopter 18.2.1.1.1

            Well, apparently it’s ok, in a funny kind of way.

            • felix 18.2.1.1.1.1

              Don’t blame some other idiot for your racism. You said it, I figure you meant it.

              Maybe you were just trying to be funny – I don’t know and I don’t really care – but they’re your words so it’s up to you to own them, not anyone else.

              • Roflcopter

                So you do think Lita is a racist then?

                • felix

                  Maybe. I don’t know anything about Lita apart from what DPF wrote (and I think I’d be a bit of a moron if I took DPF at face value).

                  But what if she is? How does that change your racism, Rofl?

                • Blighty

                  roflcopter.

                  I see someone shoot someone. the shooter say it’s ok.

                  I then shoot someone and claim that it must be ok because the first person did it.\

                  Does that make it ok? no, it makes me a killer regardless of the rights or wrongs of the first person’s actions.

                  and you’re racist scum who was just dying for ‘permission’ to let your hate out.

                  • Roflcopter

                    Awesome, keep ’em coming.

                    According to Marty’s reasoning, I’m not racist… you lot really need to get your stories straight.

                    • felix

                      How about you explain exactly where I’m conflicted rather than just insinuating that you know what I think.

                      Go on. Expose the inherent contradiction in my words.

        • Marty G 18.2.1.2

          rolf. don’t tell people to fuck off on this website. That’s the authors’ prerogative… you do respect private property rights don’t you?

          and I do love how all your lines are faithful cut and pastes of Farrars. It shows you to be a free-thinking individual, and not at all a cretin who repeats whatever a fat old loser tells him/

    • Granted for taken 18.3

      Labour must be hoping that calling Polynesians who don’t vote for them “dumb coconuts” will work for them just as well as trying to destroy the Maori Party.

      ooooh, moderation. so much for free speech in the land of lefties.

      [The moderation catches any first time poster. You have no idea how much spam that protects us all from. So yeah, so much for your first conspiracy theory here eh. — r0b]

  19. Bob Stanforth 19

    So, two things:

    1. If the campaign on this site – yes, this site – to remove Paul Henry from his job for a racist comment – your words – is the be all and end all – I await with huge interest your calling for the sacking of someone who would dare say via social media that someone is a, and I quote ” stupid assed coconut”. Shall I hold my breath?

    2. Lets have a fr’instance. Lets say the partner / husband / wife / significant other of a cabinet minster is caught, in flagrante delicto, in another jurisdiction, and for interests sake, in a public toilet. Lets say its, um, the US. Would you be comfortable with that being hushed up, with the DPS being flown to that jurisdiction to bring that personage home to NZ, and all hushed up.

    Purely hypothetical question of course. What say you? Would you be horrified?

    No, really, come on.

    ASM: harmless. Quite possibly, but then, maybe not.

    • Pascal's bookie 19.1

      You got the “quote” wrong. And someone’s facebook page isn’t the national broadcaster. Have we got the context for the quote? I’m not defending it in any way. I’d just like to see the context. I know dpf is saying why he thinks she said it, but I’d like to see the context all the same.

    • It is a purely hypothetical question. You wingnuts should learn how to recognise reality.

  20. Marty G 20

    Bob S. Your comment is moved to open mike because the accusations and muckraking in it are off topic.

    If you want to try to defend Wong, Key, and the other rorters do it directly, not with the dumb tactic of accusing others of being bad too. The biggest problem with that tactic, apart from avoiding the issue at hand, is it effectively concedes that the Nats are wrong-doers but says ‘it’s not so bad because others are bad too’

    If you don’t want to to defend the rorters and rip-off artists say so.

    • Bob Stanforth 20.1

      Oh, my bad, how dare I 🙂

      So, lets go with the first question then.

      Can I call someone a dumb assed coconut, in writing, and keep my job? Would you support me doing that? Or would you campaign for my removal?

      Serious question.

      We can get to the other shit later 🙂 Or is all this not allowed?

      • felix 20.1.1

        Bob: I’m pretty sure that as long as you put heaps of smiley faces in your comments everyone will think you’re totes friendly and you’ll be able to get away with making shit up and saying anything you want.

        • NickS 20.1.1.1

          [Edit] @Felix, reply function is broken.

          Personally, I’m all for replacing all smiles with low-res pixel-art goatse icons.

          At least until I’ve slept.

          And damn does dpf not understand hypocrisy, along with why you don’t assume a minor bit of stupidity means all Labour minions bully Pacific Islanders to vote Labour.

      • Marty G 20.1.2

        in general, racial epithets are best left alone. There’s obviously an bit of an exception when one uses a racial epithet about one’s one ethnic group. Comedy is full of it, as is every day speech.

        Take, for example, Paul Henry calling himself a gypo. That he tried to use his ethnic heritage to excuse his behaviour was reprehensible but that he used a racial epithet for the Romany people to describe himself wasn’t generally viewed as a problem since he himself is (or so he claims) Romany. After all, if that word is insulting then he was only insulting himself and his people – it lacks the vital ‘othering’ (which involves seeing another ethnic group as ‘less’ human) of racist speech.

        • Blighty 20.1.2.1

          quite right. many African-Americans use the ‘n’ word but would be offended if a non-African-American did. They say ‘it’s our word’. On other words, they know that when they say it it doesn’t bear any racial hate but coming from someone of a different ethnic group it is likely to be racist.

          • felix 20.1.2.1.1

            Heh, that reminded me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waehONGY-yI

            edit: That was meant to be in reply to Blighty. Are the replies going weird or am I losing my tiny little mind again?

            • Marty G 20.1.2.1.1.1

              yeah, the replies have stopped being indented from 19.1,

              I have no idea why but I’d hazard a guess that lynn is trying something new out back.

              • lprent

                Nope – usually a result of a deleted comment where someone had already answered. There is no good solution for it at present..

                • felix

                  Could be due to moving Bob’s comments over from the other thread.

                  • lprent

                    Yeah. When I do it I also move any replies over as well. That seems to work pretty well.

                    I must remember to send an e-mail to Marty & the others.

                  • lprent

                    Yep. Moving Marty’s replies to Bob over as well fixed the problem…

                    Kind of obvious, and I guess the plugin should do it automatically. Oh well Lyn is away for 12 days at a festival / industry thing, I guess looking at that will help fill up the hours.. 😈

      • Joachim's 20.1.3

        “Can I call someone a dumb assed coconut, in writing, and keep my job? Would you support me doing that? Or would you campaign for my removal?”

        Doubt you are important enough to bother with doing any of the above, realistically.

    • Marty G 20.2

      your second post is also on open mike now, Bob. If you want to talk about other people without any reference to the issue at end you can have that conversation in open mike. That’s what the post is for.

      Or, why not just drop the act?

      Why not tell us why you think that Wong and Key are still good people, which is why you are so desperate to run distraction and talk about something else?

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    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    4 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    6 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
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  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
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  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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