web analytics

Open mike 16/01/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 16th, 2022 - 251 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:


Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

251 comments on “Open mike 16/01/2022 ”

  1. aj 1

    “Unregulated Capitalism is a Suicide Pact”

    This interview is well worth 53 minutes of your time, an interesting and wide-ranging conversation about recent issues. Chomsky at 94 is as sharp and clear a communicator as he ever was.

    https://youtu.be/9z-YbPgfgfw

    • Blazer 1.1

      Chomsky is always interesting but is a very, dull and dry watch.

      • Grant 1.1.1

        Yep. In my youth I found his writing interesting and challenging. When he came to NZ (I think late 90's early 2000's) and did a lecture tour on the concept of 'manufacturing consent', my wife and I went to see his lecture on this subject at Waikato University. We were both bored to tears by the monotonous droning, mumbling delivery of a charisma free speaker. Very disappointing. A great mind but a poor speaker.

        • aj 1.1.1.1

          Ignore his delivery. Unimportant. It's all about content and truth.

          • Gezza 1.1.1.1.1

            Agreed. But he IS, as described, hard work to listen to. He is so ponderously slow in making his points one has to have the time & the strong desire to sit it out & listen. Consequently I watch & listen to him a lot less these days. If there’s a summary of his main points I’d rather read that.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Politicians demanding genocide against muslims are quite rare nowadays. Rightist Hindus are rectifying that lack:

    At a conference in India last month, a Hindu extremist dressed head-to-toe in the religion's holy color, saffron, called on her supporters to kill Muslims and "protect" the country. "If 100 of us become soldiers and are prepared to kill 2 million (Muslims), then we will win … protect India, and make it a Hindu nation," said Pooja Shakun Pandey, a senior member of the right-wing Hindu Mahasabha political party, according to a video of the event.

    Nearly a month on, many are still furious at the lack of government response or arrests over the comments, which they say highlights a worsening climate for the country's Muslims. After mounting pressure, India's top court intervened on Wednesday, asking for a response from state and federal authorities within 10 days.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2022/01/14/asia/india-hindu-extremist-groups-intl-hnk-dst/index.html

    You'd think there'd be a law against advocating genocide against religious minorities in any civilized country, eh? India's top court seems to think India has one. It has taken a month to figure out if they can be bothered prosecuting the rightist cheerleader, and they feel the necessity of getting feedback from the govt first, so it's an interesting situation re credibility of law & democracy in India.

    CNN has contacted India's Ministry of Minority Affairs, the Hindu Mahasabha and Pandey, but has not received a response.

    Founded in 1907 during British rule at a time of growing conflict between Muslims and Hindus in the country, the Hindu Mahasabha is one of India's oldest political organizations.

    The group didn't support British rule, but it didn't back India's freedom movement either, led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who was particularly tolerant of Muslims. Even now, some members of the group worship his assassin, Nathuram Godse.

    Of course, righteous militancy against muslims is logical and expectable as long as the prophet's instruction to kill unbelievers remains in the Koran. Muslims have only themselves to blame for taking so long to figure this out! Someone ought to explain the concept of equal and opposite reactions to them.

    • KJT 2.1

      Haven't read the bible. Eh!

      Bit of “smiting the unbelievers” in there also.

      I hope your last paragraph was sarcasm?

      Religions intolerance of people who don’t follow their particuler fantasy, is a general characteristic.

      Advocating killing people who have committed no other crime than following a different brand of woo, rightly shouldn’t be legal.

      However we have the great example of the USA public, happily tolerating the bombing of brown non Christians.

      • Gezza 2.1.1

        I get your point but something to note is that many middle eastern ethnic groups are not brown-skinned. They’re as pale-skinned as europeans. Something evident to anyone like me who watches Al Jazeera tv. Some are even natural redheads. They get tanned by the sun if they’re out in it a lot, but if inside more, their skins remain quite pale.

    • Blade 2.2

      Funny you mention Hindu extremists. I was reading about them the other day. I didn't realise how extreme they were. The default picture in my mind is of Indians either mediating under a tree…or begging for food in the streets. That does a disservice to the geniuses in science, maths and metaphysics India has produced – Srinivasa Ramanujan for example.

      Government inaction/indecision against extremists isn't only evident in India. Here's a classic example from Blighty featuring a peace train singing chap formerly known as Cat Stevens:

    • swordfish 2.3

      .

      Various extremist Hindu Nationalists [Hindutva] were certainly loudly celebrating the Christchurch Massacre on social media in the immediate aftermath.

    • Peter 2.4

      You'd think there'd be a "law against advocating genocide against religious minorities in any civilized country"?

      Does the fact there is no law and here are people promoting genocide against religious minorities a sign that it not a civilized country?

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Bomber: "I believe we urgently need to raise our military spending to 5% of GDP." Make more bombs!

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2022/01/15/fortress-aotearoa-will-be-forced-upon-us-autarky-or-bust/

    but I’m not suggesting a subsistence existence.

    Whew! Dodged that bullet.

    The rapid melting of the doomsday glacier in Antarctica and the shut down of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation will trigger irreversible environmental collapse within decades, not the end of the century.

    Predicting the future is becoming quite contagious.

    While the globalists infect every political party in NZ, all it takes is one populist spark to breath Fortress NZ into life.

    You mean Seymour? Defeating the neoliberal hegemony single-handed? Whattaguy!

    The tyranny of distance has always been our malaise but on a burning planet of constant external shocks the Shire of NZ is looking very good right now. ‘Build that wall’ will soon become ‘defend that moat’.

    In 1980, the time between billion dollar climate destruction events was 3 months. It’s now 18 days.

    With Labour & National locked into denial in their candyfloss alternate reality, sheeple will be reluctant to let their complacent subservience go. The idea of them getting off their collective arse & defending the moat is a bit of a struggle to grasp. Pitchforks?

    • bwaghorn 3.1

      I definitely agree with planning for fortress nz, of course the easiest way to do that is to let rich connected yanks and Europeans bolt hole here, and get big brother to watch over us.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        surprise So rich connected folk organise a big brother for us? Thinking quite laterally there. History provides some validation – Orwell got the notion from the ad industry according to one theory:

        In the essay section of his novel 1985, Anthony Burgess states that Orwell got the idea for the name of Big Brother from advertising billboards for educational correspondence courses from a company called Bennett's during World War II. The original posters showed J. M. Bennett himself, a kindly-looking old man offering guidance and support to would-be students with the phrase "Let me be your father."

        According to Burgess, after Bennett's death, his son took over the company and the posters were replaced with pictures of the son (who looked imposing and stern in contrast to his father's kindly demeanor) with the text "Let me be your big brother".

        Another contender seems equally viable:

        Another theory is that the inspiration for Big Brother was Brendan Bracken, the Minister of Information, a government department in wartime United Kingdom, until 1945. Orwell worked under Bracken on the BBC's Indian, Hong Kong and Malayan Service.

        Bracken was customarily referred to by his employees by his initials, B.B., the same initials as the character Big Brother. Orwell also resented the wartime censorship and need to manipulate information which he felt came from the highest levels of the Minister of Information and from Bracken's office in particular.

        • Puckish Rogue 3.1.1.1

          I find it interesting just how relevant 1984 is nowadays

          • Dennis Frank 3.1.1.1.1

            It has indeed regained currency. Sorry folks, the link to the wiki is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Brother_(Nineteen_Eighty-Four)

            • Puckish Rogue 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I always liked this: “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”

            • mikesh 3.1.1.1.1.2

              I recently reread Huxley's Brave New World (50 odd years after I first read it). It is generally thought of a dystopia, but I now have a suspicion Huxley thought otherwise. BNW's inhabitants may have given up a lot culturally, but it is difficult to see any of them as actually unhappy. In the novel the savage lands, an area which has remained "old" world, is, on the other hand, given a pretty bad press.

              Or perhaps he is saying that a phony happiness is easy enough to engineer; which may well be a commentary on our own times.

              • Dennis Frank

                Well done! I was too scared to read it when young. Life had already become too depressing – I didn't need more.

                phony happiness

                A thought-provoking notion. Anything can create feelings that simulate contentment. Watching sitcoms instead of doing chores. Theres's a bit of a trade-off with such evasions though.

        • bwaghorn 3.1.1.2

          A us warship or 2 hanging round might not be a bad thing if we get to the point were a dystopian future is coming round the bend.

          • Dennis Frank 3.1.1.2.1

            hanging round

            Just over the horizon would be tolerable. I would, however, go along with sporadic port visits if a general political consensus here were to emerge on that.

            Particularly if reefer madness parties were to feature on the menu. Half of Aotearoa would welcome them with open arms. Only downside is having to invite aussies over too (diplomacy, doncha know). But the disgruntled conservative half of Aoteoroa could do beers with them & discuss underarm bowling techniques… devil

    • Gezza 3.2

      With Labour & National locked into denial in their candyfloss alternate reality, sheeple will be reluctant to let their complacent subservience go. The idea of them getting off their collective arse & defending the moat is a bit of a struggle to grasp. Pitchforks?

      I’m intrigued by your tendency to contantly disparage your fellow Kiwis as generally stupid, or lazy, or complacent, or gullible – obviously lacking your philosophical & erudite insights, & superior intellect.

      Are you one of the sheeple, Dennis? If not, what have you done personally as preparation to defend the moat?

      • Gabby 3.2.1

        Old praxises die hard.

      • Dennis Frank 3.2.2

        I think being a cultural/political commentator becomes more effective when one tries to raise consciousness about syndromes, beliefs, paradigms etc that hold people back and prevent them making progress. I think even sheeple are inherently capable of transcendence. To evolve as individuals via liberating themselves from whatever they are captivated by, they must start by becoming aware of their thralldom.

        Re defence policy, I have no problem with escalating spending if there's a consensual basis for the target of doing so. That gets down to proposed hardware, pros & cons. Would I get personally involved? No, I'm retired.

        I did spend my college years in the ATC in the belief that I would become a fighter pilot in the RNZAF, did the elementary training around that goal (then switched to becoming an aspiring scientist in the lower 6th). So I can relate to the military mindset. Someone who is nonviolent by conscience may have to defend loved ones in response to a threat so nonviolence as ideology is vulnerable to pragmatic transcendence in proportion to proximity of likelihood…

        • Blazer 3.2.2.1

          ' Someone who is nonviolent by conscience may have to defend loved ones in response to a threat so nonviolence as ideology is vulnerable to pragmatic transcendence in proportion to proximity of likelihood…'

          =sometimes you have to…fight!

          • Puckish Rogue 3.2.2.1.1

            Damn straight, believe it or not Casey got suspended

            https://videosift.com/actionpack/video/Zangief-Kid-vs-Bully-Streetfighter-2-Remix

            • Gezza 3.2.2.1.1.1

              Well, I watched the video. To be more accurate, in line with the schools non-violence policy BOTH boys got suspended. You have to wonder how effective their anti-bullying policy is though.

              Heart-warming story. Casey's got a great older sister. When you hear how many years he's put up with being targeted every day by bullies because he never fought back, who wouldn't be cheering for him?

              I had a schoolfriend, Ted, who I biked to school with every day, who wasn't a fatty but he was a pretty big kid. He wasn't academically bright, & he was reluctant to stick up for himself when insulted, so he got regularly picked on by the usual small coterie of bullies.

              I got into a couple of minor scraps one year in about 3rd form because I got sick of their insults when we were minding our own business & they were looking for targets, & some of the smallest, lippiest hangers-on were easy meat for a skinny but wiry kid like me.

              He'd defend his friend, but not himself. But the main thing is after he'd fought back a couple of times they left him (& me) alone.

              I wish Casey all the best for his future. Seems like a genuinely nice, articulate young man whose celebrity from that fightback video going viral hasn't gone to his head.

        • Gezza 3.2.2.2

          I think being a cultural/political commentator becomes more effective when one tries to raise consciousness about syndromes, beliefs, paradigms etc that hold people back and prevent them making progress.

          Agreed.

          I think even sheeple are inherently capable of transcendence. To evolve as individuals via liberating themselves from whatever they are captivated by, they must start by becoming aware of their thralldom.

          The more arcane or academically erudite language one uses the less effective the messaging is for most folk that you would probably classify as sheeple, in my experience. The best communicators know this and use more classically familiar terms to explain what they mean.

          Re defence policy, I have no problem with escalating spending if there’s a consensual basis for the target of doing so. That gets down to proposed hardware, pros & cons. Would I get personally involved? No, I’m retired.

          Chris Trotter’s essay last week on autarky dealt quite well with the deficiencies in the idea of Fortress NZ, I thought. Principally around the difficulties of ensuring continuing supply & maintenance of adequate modern-day weaponry if international supply chains break down or are denied us by an enemy, in the notable absence of our national capacity for production & maintenance of these. Never mind the length of our coastlines & smallness of population.

          I can relate to the military mindset. Someone who is nonviolent by conscience may have to defend loved ones in response to a threat so nonviolence as ideology is vulnerable to pragmatic transcendence in proportion to proximity of likelihood…

          I dunno about all that. I’m a peaceful person who normally abhors violence. But if I or my loved ones or my country are threatened or attacked by an enemy force I consider I have both a moral right & obligation to defend myself and them & my country & would want do so.

          • Robert Guyton 3.2.2.2.1

            Sheeple, plonkers, whatever.. 🙂

            • Gezza 3.2.2.2.1.1

              I assume you at least have a pitchfork that could be employed in our collective national defence efforts if inviting invaders in for a chat & a cuppa doesn’t mollify their desire to immediately appropriate your food forest & home for provisioning & billeting their troops? 🙂

              • Robert Guyton

                Pitchfork?

                I'll give you "pitchfork" – my forest garden features a cunningly-laid network of camouflaged trenches, cul de sacs, pitfalls, deadfalls, inside-out mazes and tromp l'oeil designed to mislead and discombobulate all who seek to breach the defences. Any cuppa I offer will be brugmansia-laced and entirely forgettable. Garrisoning the enemy? Sure, our huge yurt will appeal and they'll all sleep like babies, following their nightcap of sweetened opium-tea. Putty in my hands.

                Utter nonsense, of course, but given it's the last day of my 64th year, who cares! 🙂

          • Dennis Frank 3.2.2.2.2

            The more arcane or academically erudite language one uses the less effective the messaging is for most folk that you would probably classify as sheeple, in my experience.

            Quite so. Onsite here I don't comment to sheeple. Whenever I interact with them I use everyday language.

            Chris Trotter’s essay last week on autarky dealt quite well with the deficiencies in the idea of Fortress NZ, I thought… difficulties of ensuring continuing supply & maintenance of adequate modern-day weaponry if international supply chains break down or are denied us by an enemy, in the notable absence of our national capacity for production & maintenance…

            Yes his limited review seemed adequate. However I don't agree that defence policy ought to be based on hypotheticals to that extent – a more pragmatic approach of extending the present into the future is a sounder basis.

            End of oil does not threaten currently. Enemies are not poised to disrupt our international liaison. Planes & ships will therefore continue to make foreign trade happen.

            • Gezza 3.2.2.2.2.1

              I don’t agree that defence policy ought to be based on hypotheticals to that extent …End of oil does not threaten currently. Enemies are not poised to disrupt our international liaison. Planes & ships will therefore continue to make foreign trade happen.

              Yes. True. Although the Defence policy suggestion he criticised was based on a future scenario where our trade in essential goods was actually blockaded by an enemy. Our vulnerability to blockade without powerful military allies was demonstrated in a small way by the (limited & short) activities of German surface raiders & the Japanese Empire’s sudden expansion into the Pacific in WW2.

              We can’t hope to repel a large & determined invader without powerful allies. Should it ever come to that situation, we’ll utilise those alliances & hope that they are able & committed to our defence. If they’re not, we’ll have to deal with a new reality. That prospect seems pretty far removed at present.

              • Blazer

                Do you think if NZ had a neutral foreign policy it would negate any threats of ..invasion..Gezza.?

                • Gezza

                  That’s a good question, Blazer. It certainly could do.

                  Tbh I don’t think the threat of any foreign power mounting an invasion is all that great anyway. They would have to consider reward v risk.

                  We’re inclined to think of it as permanently Godzone. But in a massively climate changed world I dunno how useful even we’d be as a food source. (We don’t have much in the way of other resources for extraction.) And climate change could conceivably make even parts of NZ arid and/or prone to more frequent weather-related natural disasters & consequent local environmental destruction = less productive.

                  Also not sure how much strategic benefit would be gained militarily by invading NZ. Once you’ve invaded a country you have to ensure you can hold it. The distances between main centres & topography in many places look pretty good for partisan warfare.

                  I think if our defence alliances concerned an enemy country with sufficient military might & capacity to invade us, they’d be more likely to save themselves the bother of invading and just blockade us into submission.

                  If we had a neutral foreign policy we might find we can just trade as normal with whichever hegemon is running things in our region of the globe.

                • Scud

                  Nope,

                  Because NZ still has "To Protect, To Defend, To Deny, To Delay, To Enforce" it EEZ which is 3.2M Sq km & if NZ get permisson to extend it out to its Continental Self? Then the NZ EEZ almost doubles in size overnight.

                  The NZDF currently struggles to maintain to security & let alone Enforcement of its EEZ on top of those Sth Pacific Nations we help out. If Conflict does breakout,? How does the NZDF To Protect, To Defend, To Deny, To Delay, To Enforce" its Sea Lanes Of Communication in order for its economy incl its exports from collapsing and its logistics supply chain collapsing within NZ?

                  Then there is the question of the Antarctica, especially the renewal of the Antarctica Treaty which is not looking good atm btw.

                  CC Weather Events incl the likely hood armed conflict as well.

                  NZ Protects Australia's Eastern Flank and access to it major Eastern & Southern ports. If you want to attack Oz, then you have to either invade NZ or degrade its ability "To Protect, To Defend, To Deny, To Delay, To Enforce" its Neutrality. Note Japan came awfully close to doing this, but was checked at the Battle of the Coral Sea and the resulting Sea Battles that followed up after the Battle of the Coral Sea. But Japan the give the US, UK (USS Robin & a Fast Minelayer) Oz & NZ Navies a bloody good run for their Money which almost tip the scales back into Japan favor.

                  The WW2 Naval Battles in & around the Sth West Pacific are worth reading incl the Sunk on the Japan I Boats (U Boats) and what the Germans were also up too in our part of the woods.

                  The NZDF must be able to do & be able to Rise, Sustain & Train for Chap7 Peacekeeping Missions aka INFERFET (99-00) which should be the benchmark for all future NZ Peacekeeping/ Peace Enforcement Missions. I was a part of INTERFET with the RAAF Ground Defence SQN as a young 24yr old straight out of Basic Training with mates in the RNZN, RNZAF, NZ Batt1 & Batt2 Battalion Groups.

                  • Blazer

                    In the new age of military arsenals a conventional invasion would be unlikely.

                    A few nuclear armed subs off the NZ coast threatening major centres would be much easier.

                    The EEZ is breached continually AFAIK.

                    NZ is so insignificant as a military force,I venture being non aligned would be a better option than obedience to the western hawk mentality.

  4. pat 4

    Whos driving the campaign against the CCCFA changes?

    Apparently a vested interest with considerable media clout given the number of anti pieces being rolled out….including this absurdity.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/300493764/first-home-buyer-says-he-lived-like-a-hermit-to-get-approval-under-new-mortgage-lending-rules

    The changes came into effect last month and the banks had already tightened lending criteria prior due to increased risk and rising interest rates.

    Journalism or lobbying?

    NZ media are neck deep in the housing crisis.

    • Blazer 4.1

      Read that heart wrenching story.

      Young man wanting to purchase an investment property was approved .

      It appears you have to 'live like a hermit' for 3 months.

      In a hermit kingdom ,my guess is…lobbying.

      CCFA changes would mean most Sth Auck car dealers are….goners!

    • alwyn 4.2

      They aren't in fact absurdities.

      Getting almost any sort of loan at the moment is well nigh impossible.

      If you don't believe it I suggest that you approach a bank and ask for a relatively low limit Credit Card. Ask for a $5,000 credit limit say. Then have a look at the application form they give you. You really do have to account for virtually every cent of expenditure over the last 3 months or so on every category you can think of.

      Don't actually apply unless you can be guaranteed that they will give it to you though. You really do not want it on your credit rating that you were turned down.

      • pat 4.2.1

        It is an absurdity…hes a 21 year old apprentice….that means hes on a training income, is bound to his employment and his work history is virtually non existent…he would be bloody lucky to get a home loan under any regime…and any bank that didnt question his ability to service would be negligent.

        But lets lend enormous amounts of money to anyone who thinks they need it no questions asked….and for the risk involved lets charge them all 30% for the privilege to cover the ensuing defaults, that work eh.

        Its a beat up, and the clown who wrote the piece should have advertorial emblazoned above and below it….preferably with who pushed the piece.

        • alwyn 4.2.1.1

          Go and try what I suggested. My brother is in his 70's. He is retired but owns his house, worth a couple of million, mortgage free, and has about five million in liquid investments, ie shares and bank deposits. He doesn't owe anything He tried exactly this after telling them he didn't have any real idea of what he spent on food or power or whatever but he could show them the share holdings and bank deposits and bank statements that showed what his expenditure totaled and how much he was worth.

          They told him he couldn't get a credit card without providing all the details of his expenditure. He now believes what I said. Why don't you try it?

          • Blazer 4.2.1.1.1

            He sounds like he really needs a credit card.

            His age is the factor…I expect.

            • alwyn 4.2.1.1.1.1

              I can assure you he has never had this problem before. And the bank blamed it on the new act.

              The problem is that if they don't follow all the trivial little steps in the CCFA Act they can find they have no recourse if a person simply says they won't pay their debt from a loan.

              It also leaves the directors of the company liable for huge, uninsurable penalties if someone in the firm who they don't even know about makes a mistake.

              The bill was supposed to be for stopping the behavior of payday lenders or the people who go round the poorer areas selling goods out of a truck. The way it has been written catches everyone and the banks simply won't risk being caught up in it. I can't say I blame them.

              And yes he does need, and use, a credit card from his existing bank. He only tried this with a new bank because he didn't believe what I had said and he didn't put in the final, formal, application when he was told what the result would be. He wasn't going to have that little refusal in his credit record.

            • alwyn 4.2.1.1.2.1

              I know all about that stuff Pat. You should remember one thing about the US system that doesn't apply here.

              If, in the US, you decide that your property is worth less than you owe on it you can just surrender ownership and that is that. Here you still have to pay off the whole of the mortgage and were the bank to foreclose and sell the property for less than you owe you remain liable for the remainder. A lot of the subprime mortgage debt in the US had been on, effectively, zero deposits. You can blame a string of US Presidents for promoting that.

              By the way Banks really, truly hate to foreclose. The only do it as an absolute last resort, in spite of what you may want to believe about them.

              • Blazer

                alwyn,I say alwyn that is a common myth.

                It applies in some states but definitely not…all.

              • pat

                Tell that to all the foreclosed mortgagors over the years…not to mention the ones who were strong armed into sales.

                What you are advocating is exactly sub prime mortgages…. we know who loses out in that situation, and it aint the banks.

                • alwyn

                  Prove your claim. As I remember it there are are around 1.1 million residential mortgages in New Zealand and I think there are less that 1,000 foreclosures.

                  That is way less than 0.1%. If you are making claims that there are lots of them you prove it. I think you are making it up and you don't know what you are talking about. I don't plan to waste my time proving you are wrong. You prove that you are right.

                  So what are the numbers you are relying on?

                  • pat

                    "Tell that to all the foreclosed mortgagors over the years…not to mention the ones who were strong armed into sales."

                    • alwyn

                      "Pat says it and therefore it must be true ". You and Blazer certainly live in a little dream world don't you?

        • Blazer 4.2.1.2

          Spot on Pat and as you mention there is a concerted campaign to highlight the CCFA requirements to try and ridicule the…Govt.

          The banks have locked in their profits and are preparing for the inevitable,long delayed correction in property prices in NZ.

  5. UncookedSelachimorpha 5

    6 reasons why you shouldn't deliberately try to catch Omicron.

    • Robert Guyton 5.1

      This is the bit I don't get (yet):

      "Second, the changing nature of the pathogen: As the virus evolves and variants emerge, our waning antibodies may not be able to target the new variants of the virus as precisely. Omicron is a prime example of a virus that has mutated to be able to continue infecting us — that's what the term immune evasion refers to."

      If Omicron is the variant we're now most likely to get, how does the booster, designed for Delta (?) help?

      I'm not saying it won't, I just can't see (yet) how it will.

      • Dennis Frank 5.1.1

        As far as I can tell, the rationale uses toughen-up theory. Which likens the immune system to a guy who upskills his Mars: fighting one battle against one opponent toughens you up for the next fight with another opponent.

        • Robert Guyton 5.1.1.1

          I guess so, and I'm good with that: if my immune system is "enlivened" by the presence of the booster, I'll feel I'm in better shape for anything coming my way. I wonder how different the sucessive year's flu vaccine is from the one preceding it? Perhaps they too, are similar/the same. I just don't know the finer details of this.

          • Dennis Frank 5.1.1.1.1

            Nor me. Seems like we either trust the govt to authorise suitable vaccines or trust our bodies to cope naturally. Blind faith, whichever side of that divide you bet on! There ought to be a vaccine tailored to combat omicron by design later this year – perhaps even mid-year.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 5.1.2

        Not certain either, Robert, but this excerpt helped me to understand a little:

        COVID: why T cell vaccines could be the key to long-term immunity
        [13 January 2022]
        With Omicron having rapidly driven up COVID infections, attention is once again focusing on antibodies, and reasonably so. They play a critical role in fighting off viruses and are important for preventing the coronavirus infecting our cells. This is why some countries have mounted booster campaigns in response to recent COVID surges – to top antibody levels up.

        But there’s a problem. COVID antibodies don’t persist that well – hence the desire for boosters. Indeed, while these extra jabs maintain good protection against severe COVID, it’s estimated that people receiving a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine will see their protection against developing COVID symptoms (of any degree) drop from 75% to 45% over the ten weeks following their booster. Scientists have questioned whether topping up antibodies, only to see them soon fade away, is sustainable.

        If we want to develop lasting immunity to COVID, it’s perhaps time to look again at our wider immune response. Antibodies are just one part of our intricate and intertwined immune system. Specifically, it’s maybe time we focused on T cells.

        In the interim, it's all about timing (like flu). It would seem that a booster jab is the way to go to minimise the number of Kiwis who will develop "severe COVID" when the highly-transmissible Omicron variant eventually escapes MIQ [keep up the good work!] People who have already had their booster, or who are eligible and choose to take up that opportunity in the next few weeks, will be better protected during the Omicron wave that will wash through NZ sometime in the next couple of months.

        Get your booster to stay safe this summer
        People aged 18 and over can now get a vaccine booster 4 months after their second dose. Visit a walk-in vaccination centre or book by calling 0800 28 29 26. You can book online from 17 January.

        • Robert Guyton 5.1.2.1

          Thanks, Drowsy – I agree with that, especially where it says, "it's about timing".

          I would also like to know why it is that Cover antibodies are short-lived. I wonder too, are flu antibodies similarly temporary and are there antibodies for other illnesses that are persistent? Perhaps non-viral diseases are easier to vaccinate-for.

          As to taking steps to build and maintain a strong immune system, thanks to my wife's wisdom/pressure, I've worked on that since forever, undermining it occasionally, as irresponsible males are won't to do 🙂

          • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.1.2.1.1

            I would also like to know why it is that Cover antibodies are short-lived. I wonder too, are flu antibodies similarly temporary and are there antibodies for other illnesses that are persistent? Perhaps non-viral diseases are easier to vaccinate-for.

            My understanding is that the answer is complicated and still being researched. It isn't simply a viral disease thing, measles (a virus) vaccine gives very durable antibody response (and protection), in comparison to covid. Broadly there are two things at play. Change in the virus (which explains a lot of why we don't have longterm immunity to the flu), and reduction in our own immune response (some of the problem with coronavirus).

            It makes me laugh when the antivax crowd dismiss the expertise of vaccinologists and immunologists and argue back and forth with simplistic youtube videos etc, while ignorant of 99% of what the real experts know. The field is super complex and the level of knowledge that the people who have spent their lives studying it is impressive.

            • RedLogix 5.1.2.1.1.1

              It makes me laugh when the antivax crowd dismiss the expertise of vaccinologists and immunologists and argue back and forth with simplistic youtube videos etc, while ignorant of 99% of what the real experts know.

              Yes it is super complex, and there are plenty of experts who don't agree with the 'only the vaccines can save us' line. But the point is that us non-experts – even you – need other people to translate the expert knowledge into terms we can understand. And while the jargon and technical details are indeed baffling to the lay person, in most cases the science reasoning and conclusions can be followed well enough. Both the pro and antivax people point to and rely on serious expertise to make their case. So who to believe?

              Well here is my litmus test. It is now established that the COVID does not have a natural zoonotic origin. It's also almost certain the Omicron variant didn't arise in humans either. Unless and until an authority or claim of expertise has fully acknowledged this, or at least willing to engage honestly on the very genesis of the virus, then in my view their credibility is compromised. Not necessarily wrong, but I question where their interests lie.

              Another core problem here are the numerous examples of journal censorship that have broken the research model. 'Peer reviewed and published' was never any guarantee of certainty, but now all it means is ' the editor thinks it's safe to publish'.

              COVID was politicised from the outset, but now two years later the narrative has split into two irreconcilable, hostile camps. We've gone from 'we're all in this together' to a deep visceral, and often irrational hatred that will not end happily.

        • RedLogix 5.1.2.2

          This overlooks the fact that a large fraction of people are completely immune to COVID. There are any number of examples of people such as family members of those who have been ill, or health care workers constantly exposed, who simply never get infected – when all reason suggests they should.

          Or the fact that the vast majority of COVD cases will be mild and especially for Omicron. Or the fact that if you're young and healthy you're chances of being seriously ill with COVID are really very low.

          Yet seemingly at random it strikes others heavily? Why this huge disparity in outcomes? The generally accepted answer to this problem is that for most people cross-immunity from other corona-virus's such as the common cold is both sufficient and enduring enough to deal with COVID.

          What most people don't realise is that while the common cold and seasonal influenza (both very transmissible respiratory virus's) mutate all the time, and while we do get infected with them quite frequently our immune system is primed to recognise the class of virus and mount a defense. If it didn't do this, these common illnesses would likely kill us every time. And it's completely established that this same long-term immune memory is – in optimal circumstances – quite capable of defending against COVID.

          Our immediate neighbour has just had a three day bout of Omicron. He tells us it was a bit like a mild cold with a fever. Interestingly his partner in the same small unit remained untouched.

          • Robert Guyton 5.1.2.2.1

            "Our immediate neighbour has just had a three day bout of Omicron. He tells us it was a bit like a mild cold with a fever. Interestingly his partner in the same small unit remained untouched."

            He probably didn't have the energy for canoodling.

          • Drowsy M. Kram 5.1.2.2.2

            Yup, early days in this pandemic, and many unknowns, but we are all learning.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.1.3

        The current pfizer vaccine is designed to match the original Wuhan strain. But the resulting antibodies still work to some degree for new variants. To a much lower degree for omicron.

        But the booster causes us to produce a huge number of antibodies. Fortunately, lots of poorly – matched antibodies are enough to give good protection against omicron.

        You would need less antibodies, if they were omicron-specific, but with the first round of vaccines, they're not.

        • Robert Guyton 5.1.3.1

          Ah! Makes some sense and that's all I can hope-for (and entertain 🙂

        • mauī 5.1.3.2

          What constitutes good protection? As far as I can tell there are skyrocketing cases of omicron in heavily vaxxed countries. Isn't good protection also about lessening the spread of disease or stopping it…

          • weka 5.1.3.2.1

            Covid vaccination does these things:

            1. lessens the chance of catching covid
            2. lessens severity of illness in many people
            3. lessens chance of death
            4. reduces spread because of 1

            Nothing is stopping covid, so the aim currently is damage limitation. Damage to individuals, populations, health systems, economies, a society.

            Re omicron, the current vaccines aren't as effective against omicron as previous variants. This doesn't mean they have no effect. They're also not used in isolation, there are other tools being used to varying degrees.

            If we look at somewhere like NZ, the comparison isn't between high vaxxed and low vaxxed countries. It's between NZ with omicron and high vax, and NZ with omicron and low vax.

            • Shanreagh 5.1.3.2.1.1

              Cheers Weka…clear and succinct as usual. smiley

              • weka

                I have my moments of succinct, lol.

                There's something else to be said about the difference between vaccination of individuals, and a vaccine programme that is designed around populations and in the context of a number of interacting and intersecting dynamics.

                It's part of why 'vaccinate vulernable people' wouldn't work very well.

                • weka

                  I'm also big on think global act local. So we can draw data, knowledge and experience from other countries, but we need to design solutions and a pandemic response for NZ very specifically to the situation we are in and all that entails.

                  That butts up hard against the philosophies of people for whom the border closure is a really big deal.

            • mauī 5.1.3.2.1.2

              Covid vaccination does these things:

              1. lessens the chance of catching covid
              2. lessens severity of illness in many people
              3. lessens chance of death
              4. reduces spread because of 1

              Well I would say that is wrong as it isn't achieving 1. or 4. in other countries currently, and with 2. and 3. I would like to see some more research before making a judgement.

          • Bill 5.1.3.2.2

            Know how when you throw shit at something and it doesn't stick, so you throw more shit in the hope some sticks…?

          • McFlock 5.1.3.2.3

            Eliminating the disease is awesome protection.

            Significantly lowering the odds of dying or needing hospital care is as good as it gets, until a better tool comes out of the box.

            Shouldn't be too far away.

      • McFlock 5.1.4

        If you mean how an immunologist or biochemist would answer the question, no idea and few people would have any idea.

        But in general, it's because the two strains are still similar enough that the pfizer jab is less effective, but not ineffective, against omicron than delta (I believe the vaccine was originally made for alpha anyway, but might be wrong). Like if you have a screwdriver the wrong size, but still close enough to work (albeit with more swearing).

  6. weka 6

    Thread (a dozen tweets or so) on why going surfing in an approaching cyclone is a bad idea even when you think it's ok.

    • Puckish Rogue 6.1

      Unfortunately it'll take a couple of drownings for the surfer chuckleheads to get the message that surfing in a cyclone is a bad idea

      Even then they probably won't listen…

      • Robert Guyton 6.1.1

        They haven't listened to the public health advice re: vaccination.

        • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1.1

          Again it'll take a couple of deaths in their social circle to get them to see the light, so to speak

          • weka 6.1.1.1.1

            nah. From Tina's thread,

            So now I'm telling her bf and mates off and telling him to get his gf's pasty butt back into shore. The mates all reckon "oh well if she drowns its on her". Bei, it's US, unpaid community volunteers that have to go save her ass BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE EMERGENCY SERVICES.

            • weka 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I'm actually ok if people want to go out and risk death. It's the problems that creates for the local community that make it not ok.

              • Puckish Rogue

                On a similar subject I'd back people being charged money for being rescued in the outdoors, if they don't take reasonable and minimum safety precautions

                For that very reason

                • Robert Guyton

                  Pucky – then you're supportive of the proposal to charge un-vaxxed people for any Covid-related hospital care they might require?
                  (Genuine vaccine-unable people aside, weka 🙂

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Sure.

                    But first we should start charging overweight people for any health-related hospital costs they incur due to their weight

                    Or when we start charging smokers for any health-related hospital costs they incur due to their smoking

                    Or when we start charging drinkers for any any health-related hospital costs they incur due to their drinking

                    Anything else you want to add to this or is it just for covid?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Well, you suggested it for rescuing stuck/lost people" if they don't take reasonable and minimum safety precautions".

                      It could be argued un-vaxxed people, " don't take reasonable and minimum safety precautions".

                      I have a relative who's a GP. She says the extra costs of seeing non-vaxxed patients; wiping-down everything etc. can't be charged to that person because of public out-cry, yet costs the business a great deal of money and time.

                      Whaddayareckon about that?

                    • gsays []

                      "I have a relative who's a GP. She says the extra costs of seeing non-vaxxed patients; wiping-down everything etc. can't be charged to that person because of public out-cry…"

                      I would hope 'everything' was relatively clean in that environment regardless of the vax status of the patient (staff for that matter).

                      As we are seeing the Omicron varient came into this country by a vaxxed person and after a recent concert people were advised to lay low because of fears of transmission in a passport carrying crowd.

                      You seem keen on maintaining those societal divisions with anecdotes like the one above.

                    • alwyn

                      That is being rather tough on smokers actually.

                      When you look at all the numbers the smokers are a group that the state makes a healthy profit from. The do incur more health costs for things like cancer to be sure but in return they pay vastly more taxes than most people and they tend to collect superannuation for less time. "Smokers are good for the Crown Coffers" should be the motto.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Well Robert the total amount of deaths due to covid is 52 so far however.

                      Deaths attributed to smoking, per year, is around 5000:

                      https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/healthy-living/addictions/quitting-smoking/health-effects-smoking#:~:text=Smoking%20kills&text=Around%205000%20people%20die%20each,not%20too%20late%20to%20quit.

                      Overweight related deaths, per year, is around 3200

                      https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/trackingtheobesityepidemic.pdf

                      Alcohol related deaths in NZ, per year, is around 600 – 800

                      https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/alcohol-factsheets.pdf

                      Whaddayareckon about that?

                    • weka

                      I have a relative who's a GP. She says the extra costs of seeing non-vaxxed patients; wiping-down everything etc. can't be charged to that person because of public out-cry, yet costs the business a great deal of money and time.

                      Whaddayareckon about that?

                      She probably needs reminding that a big chunk of her income derives from the tax take and that we have a public health system for a very good reason. User pays not only sucks from a socioeconomic pov, it's also creates harm to health systems because people avoid getting health care. Doubly important during a pandemic of an infectious disease where we want people to get treated not delay getting treated.

                      I expect she knows all that though 🙂

                  • Robert Guyton

                    She does, weka, and resigns herself to working harder, longer and risking burnout – a fairly serious threat to the community that needs her to stay in the job. These issues are complex.

                    • weka

                      Complex yes, and I see the problem is less about the unvaccinated and more about how poorly prepared we have been within the health system for a pandemic. All that extra work could just as eaily be about a more virulent disease. Or an earthquake. Or GCF. And so on.

                • weka

                  On a similar subject I'd back people being charged money for being rescued in the outdoors, if they don't take reasonable and minimum safety precautions

                  For that very reason

                  Problem with that is that it makes people less likely to call for help sooner, which makes the situation worse for the person in trouble and SAR etc.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    I'm not unreasonable, if things happen then things happen.

                    But if you're going overnight into inclement weather and you don't have a locator beacon or a rain coat or whatever, for example, then its not unreasonable to expect a bill

                    It might even make less unprepared people go out or make people prepare more

                    As an example I like to walk the DOC trails with my wife and dogs (no overnights because wifey says no)

                    Heres the minimum we take, no matter how sunny it is:

                    Good boots
                    Good day pack
                    Snacks and drinks (for us and dogs)
                    Good socks
                    Good rain jacket
                    Warm top
                    Proper sweat wicking clothing (most of which is second hand)
                    Boxerjock by Underarmour (nothing else will ever grace my tookus)
                    Minor first aid kit
                    Wide brim hat

                    • weka

                      Again, such a rule makes SAR harder. As explained.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Ok then say it'll be a case by case basis

                      Then fine each and every one of them, if its because they've done something dumb

                    • weka

                      again, if people believe that they will have to pay thousands of dollars for a rescue or a fine, they will delay getting help, which puts more people at risk.

                    • weka

                      you're not so neoliberal as to not understand the concept here.

                    • Shanreagh

                      I have the same but also silver foil emergency blanket and light beanie and gloves to stop extremities getting cold. Sun protection cream.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      To Shanreagh

                      Oh yeah the sun screen and bug spray is a must however thats our bare minimum we take with us.

                      We take more dependent on the weather.

                      So what we do is check the forecast days prior (so we have a plan B) and on the day, we keep an eye out as we're driving there and as we're walking.

                      If at any time the weather starts to look iffy we turn back (only happened once)

                      I mean its not that difficult to take minimum precautions

                  • McFlock

                    Problem with that is that it makes people less likely to call for help sooner, which makes the situation worse for the person in trouble and SAR etc.

                    One thing I found sad dealing with international students was that the yanks who'd had an accident would try to walk on broken legs rather than have anyone call an ambulance.

                • KJT

                  As most of the SAR people actually like doing it.

                  I don't consider rescuing people a "drain on the community".

                  And, unlike anti vaccination twits, outdoor recreation has overall health and well being benefits to the participants and the community.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    'As most of the SAR people actually like doing it.'

                    Wouldn't they rather have more people be better prepared in the first place so they don't get themselves in trouble

                    • KJT

                      Well I did a lot of teaching boaties to be well prepared and sensible for years.

                      Even they get caught out sometimes.

                      Coastguard and others, volunteer for SAR, because we find it satisfying.

                      The military and police, in my experience also like the break in routine and the satisfaction of a successful rescue.

                      Note. If I was younger and fitter I would be chasing the waves this weekend, also. However I will wait to go sailing until the swell goes down

                    • weka

                      Wouldn't they rather have more people be better prepared in the first place so they don't get themselves in trouble

                      It's not an either/or. People can be educated, and we can keep SAR etc as a public good, not stupid person user pays.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Don't think of it as user pays, think of it more like a stupid tax that subsidises rescues of people that get into genuine trouble angel

                    • KJT

                      The problem with charging is people delay calling for help until the last minute, making rescues much more difficult and dangerous.

                      Coast guard found that, when we started charging non members for tows.

              • Robert Guyton

                Weka – would you still be "okay" if you learned that those people who want to go out and risk death, had been mislead about the safety of the activity – mislead by an agency that is dismissive of the value of human life, or otherwise misanthropic/insane (I'm alluding to antivaxx and QAnon 🙂

                • weka

                  In the cultures of surfing, or say mountaineering, people die. Sometimes they are very experienced, know what they are doing, and shit happens. Sometimes it’s less experienced people pushing their own personal edge in order to learn or experience life more fully. Death is inherent in those spheres of human endeavour. Many of the people that take part are philosophical about that. I see it as incumbent on the people in those subcultures to teach others there where the boundaries are, what the philosophical positions are, and that death or disability is a risk.

                  Within that there are always people of arrogance. It's not like the group in the story above weren't told. They were. If they want to be stupid, that's on them.

                  QAnon etc is different, because that is a culture that thrives on misinformation, paranoia, and power and control narratives. It's not a life affirming subculture that sometimes has death. It's an out of control subculture that is intent on harm.

                  'Anti-vax' sits somewhere in between. It's been colonised by QAnon, and has always had problems, but there are also people there who are trying to make sense of the world and whose values are often ones much needed in society. We see the jerks at the moment, because it suits the dominant culture to present that narrative, but the people I know who don't vax or are against vaccination generally, are typically normal parts of society, care about a lot of things that the rest of us care about, and want the best for themselves, their families and community.

                  Those that are being sucked into the rabbit hole I am concerned about, but also, most of the ones I know are educated adults making their own decisions. I'm more concerned about those that don't have the same access to knowledge, and the impacts on society. It's really complex, much more complex than idiot surfers aiming for a Darwin Award.

                • mauī

                  I'd be more concerned with an agency telling everyone the sea in itself is too dangerous so don't go out in it, unless you have an inflatable device with you.

                  The increase in kiwis scared of, and unprepared for the ocean would have huge consequences.

          • Dennis Frank 6.1.1.1.2

            Or not. Social darwinism works by sorting out contenders into winners & losers. Everyone wants to be a winner. Biggest waves reported so far are 7m so the thrill will get contenders high. Crash-down after may take out a few contenders but the others will still want to get high on the crest & stay there…

      • joe90 6.1.2

        surfing in a cyclone is a bad idea

        Actually, it's a brilliant idea.

        • weka 6.1.2.1

          As I said above, I'm fine with it except where it impacts on others. They should take their own SAR if they want to do that (up north).

          • joe90 6.1.2.1.1

            People that spend a lifetime in the water are pretty much drown-proof. The real dangers, and the majority cause of surf related deaths that I can recall, are medical events. More recently, the growing awareness of the need to be able to self-rescue, the availability of training, and the increasing use of helmets has lowered the odds of spinal/head injury fatalities.

    • joe90 6.2

      Surfers spend years plotting and planning on how, when and where to make the most of all too rare cyclone swells. When cyclone swell is forecast they spend days glued to devices tracking swell, tide and wind models, talking to their others, sometimes drawing on forty and fifty years of local knowledge and memories, and make plans. A few degrees shift in swell and/or wind direction can be the difference between a two hour drive and a six drive and arriving either side of an optimal window can mean missing the waves of a lifetime.

      Surfers most certainly don't turn up to a straight-hander beach on the fly, because cyclone swell, and then go grovelling in onshore close-out slop. Dumb fucks do.

      Having said that, I was surfing elsewhere in the same region when these guys lost their lives during what's known as a step-ladder day, a two metre swell becomes three becomes four and 40 minutes later, five metres.

      The rising swell pushed up past the foreshore and into the bush line, dragging an incredible amount of debris into the sea. They were literally battered to death by a maelstrom of drift wood and rubbish.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/sudden-change-fatal-for-surfers-coroner-finds/WOVCJJI7JT3JGHHZC2IIY7DUNM/

      • weka 6.2.1

        Surfers most certainly don't turn up to a straight-hander beach on the fly, because cyclone swell, and then go grovelling in onshore close-out slop. Dumb fucks do.

        Is that the people in the twitter thread?

      • weka 6.2.2

        Having said that, I was surfing elsewhere in the same region when these guys lost their lives during what's known as a step-ladder day, a two metre swell becomes three becomes four and 40 minutes later, five metres.

        Was the coroner right, those conditions weren't predictable?

        • joe90 6.2.2.1

          Yeah. All the stars, wave period, tide, wind, bathymetry and barometric pressure, lined up to create an extreme, localised storm surge. Hence the rapidly rising water pushed up into the bush line and dragged debris into the sea.

      • Blade 6.2.3

        Ever used a long board, Joe? I have a Bob Davies antique. Scares the hell out of me ride it in big surf.

        • joe90 6.2.3.1

          Bob was idolised where I grew up and my very first custom board was a Bob Davie. Thankfully I stared surfing at the very beginning of the short board era and believe me, the end of long boards was a good thing. Sadly, Bob took his own life few years ago.

          • Blade 6.2.3.1.1

            Agree. When a long boards nose dips under the water all hell breaks loose. When you stand too far back to compensate, the ride turns to custard. I could never find the sweet spot. However, others did, and did a reasonable job of taming the beast within its limits.

            In 60s, as a young lad, my aunties boyfriend was a surf life saver at the Mount. We went to the surf club one day ( a tin hut plonked on the main beach). Bob and my aunties boyfriend were eating a huge pile of fish 'n chips. We were introduced and joined the feast. Beautiful memories of people and a lifestyle that's now past.

            Sad to hear Bob past on in such a fashion. He was the doyen of New Zealand surfing.

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    Interesting interview with elderly feminist author:

    “I’ve always said that there’s no feminism if you cannot support yourself and your children, because if you depend, then somebody else gives the orders.”

    Isabel Allende’s books have been translated into more than 42 languages and sold some 75m copies globally. Her career spans fiction and nonfiction, and she’s also created the Isabel Allende Foundation in memory of her daughter (who died in 1992), working to empower women and girls around the world.

    "I used to write to my mum, and she would write to me, every single day for decades. My son hired a company to digitise the letters, and they calculated that there are about 24,000."

    "I was aware very young that it was not to my advantage to be born a female, but also I was very aware of social injustice. I was furious because the world was not fair."

    Does injustice still make you as irate?
    Of course! I have the same rage I had then. I try to be as calm as possible and to meditate – it doesn’t work at all.

    What is the feminist movement’s biggest unfinished task?
    The main unfinished task is to replace the patriarchy.

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/jan/15/isabel-allende-violeta-interview-chile-president-boric

    • weka 7.1

      The main unfinished task is to replace the patriarchy.

      Phew, a feminist that understands what the job is.

      • Dennis Frank 7.1.1

        Not really my place to comment but a fool rushes in where angels fear to tread so no harm playing the fool if you do so with helpful intentions. angel

        It was 1964 when I realised my innate sense of fairness inclined me to view males & females as co-equal (in 4th form). Women's lib hit the big-time in 1970 via zeitgeist, then in the late 1970s I became aware of a strange man-hating twist in that movement. Through the '80s it became apparent that feminism contained no follow-through to make it a success.

        I began to wonder if women were all disagreeing with each other about it – particularly re lack of generational transmission.

        So what we need is a feminist historian with an overview who has dissected the various currents in the movement, identified whether they be ideological, philosophical, pragmatic or whatever, stuck labels on the ones that had sufficient adherents to be influential in mass psychology. Does one (or more) exist and have they done that intellectual work?

    • Blade 7.2

      ''I was furious because the world was not fair."

      That's the driving meme powering liberal left politics.

      One day the left will find that's the default setting for life.

      • Robert Guyton 7.2.1

        The insistence that life is 'red in tooth and claw' is a nonsense. Those who live by that maxim are a danger to us all 🙂

      • Dennis Frank 7.2.2

        the default setting for life

        An activist ought to be self-aware enough to separate fairness as political principle from personal resentment – tenure of which has cancer-causing potential….

        • Blade 7.2.2.1

          Yep, well put. That resentment shows on the faces of many. They need to be honest with themselves and understand there's a difference between fairness as a political principle and fairness in general life.

  8. weka 9

    Speaking of complex, this is a lighter form of complex than understanding how anti-bodies and viruses interact within the human immune system. Complexity can be simple and straightforward too, once we see the bigger picture.

  9. Sanctuary 10

    I see John Key is in the Herald once again proving the axiom that right wing interest in the plight of the poor increases exponentially with their distance from power.

  10. Koff 11

    Texas doesn't have the most enlightened reputation when it comes to the Covid response, but maybe it's not all bad news…scientists there have come up with a new vaccine which will be "cheaper, easier to make and patent-free".

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/15/corbevax-covid-vaccine-texas-scientists

    • arkie 11.1

      Bottazzi said the reason she and her team did not patent the vaccine was because of her team’s shared philosophy of humanitarianism and to engage in collaboration with the wider scientific community.

      “We want to do good in the world. This was the right thing to do and this is what we morally had to do. We didn’t even blink. We didn’t think, ‘how can we take advantage of this?’ You see now that if more like us would have been more attuned to how the world is so inequitable and how we could have helped from the beginning so many places around the world without thinking ‘what’s going to be in it for me?’, we could have basically not even seen these variants arise.”

      Bottazzi hopes her move will incentivize others to follow suit and make affordable and accessible vaccines for other diseases and viruses, like hookworm.

      “We need to break these paradigms that it’s only driven by economic impact factors or return of economic investment. We have to look at the return in public health.”

      Very laudable work, hopefully this can really bridge the vaccine gap in those parts of the world that have so far been largely neglected.

      • Dennis Frank 11.1.1

        Refreshing to see this positive alternative!

        shared philosophy of humanitarianism and to engage in collaboration

        She & her team must have an interesting employment situation. Normally whoever employs scientists makes a lunge for the money their expertise conjures up…

    • Puckish Rogue 11.2

      Well heres where it stands with death rates at the moment, actually not too shabby really

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/1109011/coronavirus-covid19-death-rates-us-by-state/

  11. joe90 13

    Oh joy.

    An Auckland MIQ worker who tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday has the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

    The Ministry of Health confirmed the variant in a statement on Sunday afternoon.

    The update comes after there were 29 new cases in the community and 25 at the border on Saturday.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/127513712/covid19-infected-border-worker-confirmed-as-omicron-case

  12. Koff 14

    Not sure how the eruption and subsequent tsunami affected the low lying Ha'apai group in Tonga opposite the undersea volcano but it sure had an effect on my old 'home' of 15 years, Tutukaka marina. My wife and I lived on our boat just behind the breakwater when teaching in Whangarei. Only sold the marina berth (for $25,000) last year and the boat here in Oz for another $25,000. It was the cheapest and prettiest address in that otherwise McMansion dominated place. Quite a few expensive boats ruined, but also some boats that were their occupants' only homes. Tutukaka, for some geotechnical reason, is prone to tsunami surges, and there's been a few scares over the years, fortunately when we weren't there!

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/459637/tsunami-warning-strong-surges-sink-boats-prompt-evacuations-in-far-north

    • Gezza 14.1

      Was just about to post this:

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/volcanic-eruption-new-zealand-ready-to-help-tonga-tsunami-surge-destroys-boats-closes-beaches-in-nz/QNI5GQKFSCK52KNHXAT5VAA6DE/

      There seems to have been a failure of the NZ tsunami alert system up north. There are multiple references to Civil Defence warning people to be wary of high swells & surges due to the Cyclone, & now they’ve added “also due to the eruption” – but I don’t think Civil Defence were actually expecting a tsunami from Tonga to actually hit NZ & it sounds to me pretty much like one did?

      • Gezza 14.1.1

        Just for clarification, I mean an actual tsunami wave. That Herald article mentions someone saying people could hear it coming:

        He had several friends who lived on their boats but all were safe. “We’re very thankful – nobody was on their boat, they heard it coming in. From what I understand it was a big event, they got out really fast.”

        • Koff 14.1.1.1

          Doubt if anyone could have done anything about their boats, tbh. It happened at night and there was a big swell from Cyclone Cody outside. Tutukaka's entrance is hairy enough at the best of times let alone try and get out toescape a tsunami wave in the dark. Boats can always be replaced. Lives lost can't.

          • Gezza 14.1.1.1.1

            Valid points, but my concern or issue wasn’t really about getting the boats out to sea & saving them if the owner/those living on them were warned a tsunami wave or wave train was coming.

            It was more about Civil Defence seemingly not expecting an actual tsunami wave to hit anywhere in NZ & warning folk of this possibility. Any of those living on their boats were probably lucky to get off them without death or injury, thank goodness.

            Surges are one thing – and not to be sniffed at when they can pull boats off moorings & damage or sink them – but an actual tsunami wave is a bigger danger, I would have thought?

            At least we & Civil Defence have now had this experience & it may inform future tsunami warnings.

            • Koff 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Interesting account in the Northern Advocate about the May 24th, 1960 tsunami (all the way from Chile). A friend of ours was holidaying at Whangaruru harbour just up from Tutukaka when the tsunami struck and remembers the sudden retreat of water as the wave advanced. Luckily she and her family had the presence of mind to scarper – something that didn't happen when the Boxing Day tsunami struck SE Asia. Don't think a tsunami warning would have done anything in this instance. People have become complacent after a number of warnings were activated over the last few years but nothing much happened. Might not be so complacent from now on, though!

  13. Bill 15

    lol – who'd a thunk it?!

    Simon Ruda co-founded Number 10’s ‘Nudge Unit’, which was initially set up to encourage positive behavioral changes in the British public without the need for coercion or legislation, but was weaponized during the pandemic to create scaremongering
    “In my mind, the most egregious and far-reaching mistake made in responding to the pandemic has been the level of fear willingly conveyed on the public,” wrote Ruda.

    “That fear seems to have subsequently driven policy decisions in a worrying feed-back loop,” he added, noting that such actions amounted to “state sanctioned propaganda.”

    The behavioral scientist said that an obsession with daily case numbers came to dominate thinking, serving to spread even more fear.

    That process included grossly exaggerating the threat posed by COVID and producing lurid, alarmist propaganda to frighten the population into subservience.

    Sheesh. Just as well the 'be kind' NZ government didn't engage in any 'monkey see, monkey do' efforts on that front, eh?

    • weka 15.1

      Proto-fascist Tory government uses crisis to engage in manipulation and propaganda to push its political agenda, shocking!

      /sarc

      Anyone who can't see the difference between the approaches of the NZ and UK governments probably shouldn't be commenting on them. The UK government is actively introducing legislation that should scare the shit out of everyone, and I'm not talking about Health Orders.

      The problem with the 'everyone is fear mongering' narrative is that it can't explain how a government would keep citizens informed without giving updates on various aspects of the pandemic. NZ did pretty well in terms of government communication: we got the data, the intepretation, the details of the response, and we had a mainstream media asking the government a lot of awkward questions as well as publishing a range of critiques and analyses.

      The only way that the NZ daily briefings can be explained as fearmongering is if one believes that the pandemic just isn't that bad.

      • Bill 15.1.1

        Is the assertion that any perceived difference between UK and NZ government approaches should be enough to elicit silence on the commonalities or similarities? It reads that way. – Anyone who can't see the difference between the approaches of the NZ and UK governments probably shouldn't be commenting on them.

        What's the legislation, actively being introduced in the UK re:Covid, that should scare the shit out of everyone btw?

        Fearmongering is not informing – not ever. And NZ's media and government are knee deep in that shit. (throw away example below)

        Demanding that only government sources of information be listened to, because government is the only reliable source of truth (as NZ's PM did) is the approach of despots, maniacs, or those just otherwise full of shit. (And even Dorothy's dog saw through that 'yellow curtain' shit 🙂 )

        The only way that the NZ daily briefings can be explained as fearmongering is if one believes that the pandemic just isn't that bad.

        That's both disingenuous and circular.

        When were "daily briefings" considered the full extent of government messaging? But anyway – when the PM stated that covid was hunting the unvaccinated, that was sensible and informative, was it? In that same short sentence you go to assert that any calling out of fearmonger tactics can only be made by people who don't believe the pandemic isn't as bad as… what? As bad as those who are cleaving to the government's take on things believe it to be? Because that implies that unless a person calling out fearmongering is a 'true believer' (in which case they wouldn't be calling out any fearmongering in the first place – obviously.), then the person can be attacked or dismissed or marginalised because 'reckless unbeliever' (or some such).

        Lemme sort your lead in while I'm here, aye?

        Liberal government uses crisis to engage in manipulation and propaganda to push a political agenda, shocking!

        • Drowsy M. Kram 15.1.1.1

          Demanding that only government sources of information be listened to, because government is the only reliable source of truth (as NZ's PM did) is the approach of despots, maniacs, or those just otherwise full of shit.

          So in your opinion, Bill, regarding keeping Kiwis informed on matters COVID, our PM has taken the approach of "despots, maniacs, or those just otherwise full of shit." On that particular exemplar of hyperbole we can agree to disagree.

          At least you’re still getting your good words out, resisting the forces of despotism. As Redlogix opined earlier today:

          We've gone from 'we're all in this together' to a deep visceral, and often irrational hatred that will not end happily.

        • weka 15.1.1.2

          Is the assertion that any perceived difference between UK and NZ government approaches should be enough to elicit silence on the commonalities or similarities? It reads that way. – Anyone who can't see the difference between the approaches of the NZ and UK governments probably shouldn't be commenting on them.

          Nope, that's your binary thinking. I'd welcome a nuanced conversation about the differences and similarities, but was just responding to your implication that NZ did a monkey impersonation of the UK.

          What's the legislation, actively being introduced in the UK re:Covid, that should scare the shit out of everyone btw?

          Fearmongering is not informing – not ever. And NZ's media and government are knee deep in that shit. (throw away example below)

          Right. So you assert fearmongering by the NZ government but don't actually present the case. That they did daily covid data updates (within the context of a range of other things being communicated) doesn't inherently = fearmongering. The problem with your argument is that you appear to equate daily number reporting with fearmongering and fail to say how the daily numbers could be reported in a non-fearmongering way (according to your view). So all we're left with is your belief that it is fearmongering, presumably because you think talking about the numbers by MoH or government is wrong.

          Demanding that only government sources of information be listened to, because government is the only reliable source of truth (as NZ's PM did) is the approach of despots, maniacs, or those just otherwise full of shit.

          Citations needed (to understand your point).

          The only way that the NZ daily briefings can be explained as fearmongering is if one believes that the pandemic just isn't that bad.

          That's both disingenuous and circular.

          When were "daily briefings" considered the full extent of government messaging? But anyway – when the PM stated that covid was hunting the unvaccinated, that was sensible and informative, was it?

          No idea what you are on about, citation needed.

          In that same short sentence you go to assert that any calling out of fearmonger tactics can only be made by people who don't believe the pandemic isn't as bad as… what?

          Actually no. I think there is such a thing as fear mongering. I just reject the idea that all governments reporting numbers are engaged in it. Which appears to be your assertion. It's my view that you are minimalising the pandemic, which is why you think omicron can run free and it would be better than the situation we are in now (and you still haven't said anything to contradict that view), and why you don't talk about long covid. This doesn't mean that you don't acknowledge the deaths and suffering, it just means you see them in a different way than those who think NZ did the right things albeit imperfectly.

          As bad as those who are cleaving to the government's take on things believe it to be? Because that implies that unless a person calling out fearmongering is a 'true believer' (in which case they wouldn't be calling out any fearmongering in the first place – obviously.), then the person can be attacked or dismissed or marginalised because 'reckless unbeliever' (or some such).

          Not really. I just think your argument is made badly. You often present assertions of fact that are opinions, you often don't even bother to explain what you are referring to (see above) and you routinely refuse to clarify when asked. What you just wrote is in your head, not mine. I can totally see how to look at whether and how the NZ government is fearmongering, but you are the one that started with the comparison with the UK, which makes your basic premise hard to take seriously.

          Lemme sort your lead in while I'm here, aye?

          Liberal government uses crisis to engage in manipulation and propaganda to push a political agenda, shocking!

          Sure. Nothing new there either. But apparently you still can't tell the difference between liberals and Tories. Nor matters of degree, intent, and outcome.

    • McFlock 15.2

      So if covid was needless fearmongering and the deaths of 152k people in Britain was purely coincidental to their positive covid tests (and absolutely fucked lungs on autopsy), where did all the extra dead dead come from?

      Surely the real public health hazard needs to be identified?

      • Bill 15.2.1

        Oh ffs! Exactly who ever said that Covid was fearmongering – it's a virus, not a cunning adversary.

        Why don't you just go and read what the guy in the thick of it has to say?

        https://unherd.com/2022/01/how-the-government-abused-nudge-theory/

        • McFlock 15.2.1.1

          Isn't that the entire "with covid not from covid" argument is all about? That covid wasn't actually causing all those admissions and deaths?

          If daily case numbers are a valid count, and moreso the daily death toll, then people should have been scared from the start and government policy – whichever government – should have been aggressive and been supported by everyone with half a brain.

    • fender 15.3

      With your disgust at how NZ has responded to a public health emergency I'm surprised you're still here.

      Informing the public about daily case numbers is a good thing, it illustrates just how easily it spreads and where hot spots are.

      I guess with the out of control nature of spread in London fear would be prevalent, but I'm not seeing fear in NZ, just concern. One thing that could arouse fear though is the very vocal reckless attitude of anti vaxxers and the let-it-rip proponents.

      • weka 15.3.1

        The situation in the UK is hugely complicated by the fact that the government fucked up the initial response and used a herd immunity approach, which make a lot of people sick or dead or disabled, then had to reverse its position and put people into lockdowns without being able to manage that well and has made a mess of it ever since. Appalling treatment of citizens already struggling with Brexit.

        • fender 15.3.1.1

          Yeah the UK people have been poorly served, even when their PM ends up in hospital himself he still can't respond responsibly.

      • Bill 15.3.2

        And who around here are anti-vaxxers or let-it-rip proponents?

        • McFlock 15.3.2.1

          Anyone opposed to basic public health measures, maintains that vaccines are ineffective against omicron just because they might no be as effective as against delta, believes that we should let omicron take over from delta because only a small percentage of people have serious effects from it, or can't understand why we don't let omicron-positive travellers out of MIQ.

          If none of that applies to any commenter on this website, then I guess fender was maybe referring to people using other blogsites or media.

        • fender 15.3.2.2

          They'll know who they are, and readers can identify them. They need the middle finger salute rather than finger pointing.

          Mcflock at 15.3.2.1 has a more succinct answer to that question, although I never used "around here" in my initial comment.

      • Peter 15.3.3

        Seems to me the 'let it rip' mob wanted everything to carry on as normal from the beginning with covid. Not with the specific Trump sort of attitude, "It's nothing really, it'll be gone in a couple of weeks" sort of thing, just by ignoring it. Things would take care of themselves. No lockdowns, nothing, life as normal.

        That tied to the 'Talking about it is fear mongering, so don't say anything, certainly don't have daily press conferences, people might get the idea it's big deal,' mob?

        How would things have looked now? To those still alive.

    • joe90 15.4

      Ruda's been happily generating Tory propaganda since 2010 and suddenly, when Johnson's on the ropes, he has a conscience attack about having inadvertently sanctioned state propaganda and jumps ship.

      Yeah nah…

      /

    • Fireblade 15.5

      It's all part of the new world order plandemic. The communist fascists want to dominate you with their mind altering vaccines and digital ID passes. I know it's true because I read it on the internet and mainstream media won't report it. Wake-up NZ!

      🤣

  14. Joe90 16

    Thread from a former FBI agent who reckons Trump declared early on that he would be the winner and any other result would signal a stolen election.

    So assorted QOPers set to and dreamed up schemes to make it so.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/AshaRangappa_/status/1482384084433313795

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1482384084433313795.html

  15. McFlock 17

    edit: missed the reply tab.

    Nice weather today, though.

    • weka 17.1

      watch out for those daily fearmongering weather reports and forecasts.

      • Robert Guyton 17.1.1

        smiley

      • Shanreagh 17.1.2

        I spend all day under the table. Saves me from flooding, as I am on the first floor and also useful in an earthquake.

        Actually if I stay under the table I don't read fearmongering information or listen to fear mongering on the radio. It does get boring but keeps me from all kinds of contamination.

        My talking cat does say that we have a brain so use it and discernment to know what fearmongering is all about including fearmongering from people saying we should be frightened.

        I reckon if I did not have the talking cat I would be really frightened…..you know what I mean?

        /s

        wink

      • Anne 17.1.3

        Having been there and done that, I feel I ought to defend the MetService.

        It's extremely hard to accurately predict a tropical cyclone track. They are a law unto themselves due to their tropical origins. Much depends on the changing patterns of surrounding air masses which make it trickier still. So, the only option available to weather gurus is to go with the worst scenario (with provisos attached and the 'official forecasts' did have them) and hope for a better outcome.

        If they take a punt and assume the cyclone won't affect us too much and it turns out to be a one in 50 year storm then the shit would really hit the fan.

        In other words, the forecasters report what they can see and refine their predictions as the system draws closer. Its the media who introduce the drama and scare the shit out of people.

        • Nic the NZer 17.1.3.1

          A famous example of getting this wrong.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Fish

        • weka 17.1.3.2

          I was poking at the covid fearmongering narrative. The cyclone won't affect much down here, wasn't even on my radar (sorry).

          • Anne 17.1.3.2.1

            From the link:

            In reaction to the controversy, the term "the Michael Fish effect" has been coined, whereby British weathermen are now inclined to predict "a worst-case scenario in order to avoid being caught out.

            Note: they say weathermen instead of weathermen and women.

            The Michael Fish effect. Its been around longer than the Fish incident but lets give credit to him. It was the boo boo of boo boos. smiley

          • Anne 17.1.3.2.2

            Yes, I recognised the tongue in cheek nature, but took the opportunity to make a general comment. I should have made that more apparent.

  16. joe90 18

    Forget the mRNA RFI nano-particle jobbie that turns into you into a magnetised cell phone. This one will us a SpFN turn you into a mindless super-soldier in the service of The Great Reset®.

    In December, the US Army announced that a "pan-coronavirus vaccine," the spike ferritin nanoparticle COVID-19 vaccine, aka SpFN, had completed Phase 1 of human trials with positive results.

    Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, director of infectious diseases at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and co-inventor of SpFN, told Defense One, "We're testing our vaccine against all the different variants, including omicron," the strain causing breakthrough infections, even in people who have received booster shots.

    SpFN still needs to undergo Phase 2 and 3 human trials, though, to test its efficacy and safety in comparison to current treatments, Modjarrad said.

    https://www.cnet.com/health/army-super-vaccine-spfn-shows-promise-all-covid-variants-including-omicron/

    • Shanreagh 18.1

      Does that mean we can all get to be soldiers without all that running around paddocks with uniforms and gear on? So we can join The Great Reset and the plandemic and not have to be fit? Also carry all the guns on a golfing trolley?

      But if it is for real it sounds Ok. I keep thinking if the trend for Covid to capture more cold viruses as part of its makeup, as Omicron has done, we might come out of this with vaccine against the common cold.

  17. Dennis Frank 19

    What happens when govts use pr professionals…

    The fearmongering campaign clearly worked. By the summer of 2020, the average Brit thought 6-7% of the population of the UK had died from coronavirus, a figure equating to around 4.5 million people. At the time, COVID-19 had actually claimed around 40,000 lives.

    But don’t worry, all this is of no importance whatsoever, because ‘fact checkers’ have ruled that ‘mass formation psychosis’ isn’t a thing that happened at all during the pandemic.

    https://summit.news/2022/01/14/british-government-used-propagandistic-fear-tactics-to-scare-public-into-mass-compliance/

    Ratio of deaths in popular collective hallucination to those in reality is more than 100:1 so it proves how effective professionals are when govts use them to co-create alternative simulations of reality in the mass mind that are totally unreal…

      • Dennis Frank 19.1.1

        Good advice. There's a sensible serious stance involved. I sometimes default to something similar but the surreal dimension of a lot of this stuff also both entertains & amuses me. I suspect that I yield to the temptation of being flippant when it isn't really appropriate sometimes… frown

    • observer 19.2

      You use a far right fearmongering propaganda website as your source to "prove" that there is fearmongering propaganda. Cool.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 19.3

      Why'd it be easy to sell inflated COVID death tolls in the US / UK / Sweden – anyone?

      Survey: Americans Think Coronavirus Has Killed 30 Million People in the U.S., 225 Times Higher Than Actual Figure [5 Aug. 2020]
      Results suggest media alarmism has fanned the flames of hysteria.

      Despite relatively low incidence rates compared to earlier in the pandemic in most countries (with the exception of the U.S.), people significantly over-estimate the spread and fatality rate of the disease. In Sweden and the UK for example, the public think 6-7% of people have died from coronavirus – around one hundred times the actual death rate based on official figures.

      The survey also revealed that across all countries, “people think 5-12% of people currently have coronavirus.” In reality, even at the height of the pandemic, in England for example, only 0.27% of the community population had COVID-19.

      Now, at the new height of this (on-going) pandemic, the incidence of active COVID cases amongst the heavily vaccinated UK population is ~5.4% (3.7 million active cases in a total population of 68.4 million) – it appears reality has caught up with perception.
      wink

    • Shanreagh 19.4

      Hmmmmm Summit News? wink

      • RedLogix 19.4.1

        Are you saying this article is fake? Or just that you don't have an argument?

        • observer 19.4.1.1

          Summit News is fake.

          All credible news media – whether left, right, mainstream, whatever – provide information about who they are. Usually an "About" section. Editorial details, ownership, etc. That's basic professionalism.

          Summit News does not. It's there to fool the gullible that it is a legit news website. Sadly, it sometimes works.

          This is Paul Joseph Watson (from Dennis’ link). Engage critical faculties, please.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Joseph_Watson

          • RedLogix 19.4.1.1.1

            Maybe you are a 'fake' too – lacking any "About" section.

            But still there are a couple of references in the article and this one in particular to the survey that seems to be the original source. Fake away on that if it pleases you.

            What pisses me off here is that I've managed to operate on this site for damn nearly 15 years without a constant resort to smearing sources absent any actual argument. Lift your game.

            • Shanreagh 19.4.1.1.1.1

              I thought that the readers of this blog were aware of the reputation of Paul Joseph Watson and Summit News without us having to rehash all the reasons why every time we look at the utterings from there.

              Apart from when I deliberately go all out to read the utterings all round a topic, as I did for the anti vaxx arguments, I gave up 'kissing frogs' from Summit News/Paul Joseph Watson many moons ago. I found that all I was doing was kissing frogs and nary a sign of a prince ie a piece of writing that I could be stimulated by/found believable.

              From Wikipedia (I know)

              [unlinked copy and pastes deleted]

              • weka

                deleted content. You have to provide a clear link every time you copy and paste. Feel free to repost with links.

                • Shanreagh

                  Cheers Weka – happy to introduce, clarify and add links.

                  My links were to

                  1) A Wikipedia entry on Paul Joseph Watson below:

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Joseph_Watson

                  Paul Joseph Watson (born 24 May 1982) is a British far right, radio host and conspiracy theorist whose views have often been called antifeminist, white supremacist and politically extremist Until July 2016, Watson embraced the label "alt-right", but he now identifies as part of the 'new right' In May 2019, Facebook and Instagram permanently banned Watson for violation of hate speech policies.

                  2 An extract from the Mediabiasfactcheck site on Summit News, Watson's mouthpiece

                  https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/summit-news/

                  • Overall, we rate Summit News Questionable based on Extreme Right-wing bias, promotion of conspiracies, misleading and unproven stories, and a complete lack of transparency.

                  3 Also included was a link to Desmog, a website commenting on Climate Change that criticises Watson for his climate change views.

                  https://www.desmog.com/paul-joseph-watson/

                  link to desmog itself

                  https://www.desmog.com/

                  4 I also ran Desmog through the MBFC site

                  https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/desmog/

                  A summary of Desmog's stance is

                  • Overall, we rate DesmogBlog Left Biased based on advocacy for fighting climate change. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to proper sourcing and a clean fact check record.

                  While they do comment on Watson they also have some interesting articles, to me, on Climate Change.

            • weka 19.4.1.1.1.2

              What pisses me off here is that I've managed to operate on this site for damn nearly 15 years without a constant resort to smearing sources absent any actual argument. Lift your game.

              There's long standing practice here of critiquing sources. It's not smearing if it's just saying this is the problem with using x website.

              If the information is good, it's usually quite easy to find another source that a) corroborates what is being said and b) has some credibility.

          • arkie 19.4.1.1.2

            Kekst CNC is the org that did the survey, interestingly:

            Kekst CNC is a global public relations firm which has long worked with tobacco companies, in particular Philip Morris and Philip Morris International (PMI), advising them on corporate takeovers and regulatory battles.

            https://tobaccotactics.org/wiki/kekst-cnc/

            • RedLogix 19.4.1.1.2.1

              So again you resort to smearing the source rather than addressing the data or the argument.

              • arkie

                The 'smear' you perceive is in your head. I just did more research into the PR company that produced that survey, I provided no judgement, just the facts.

                If you think this is 'smearing the source' then you haven't engaged your critical thinking functions.

                • RedLogix

                  The information you produced has nothing to do with public perceptions of COVID risk.

                  • arkie

                    No, you're right, it doesn't.

                    It has to do with the 'original source' you provided relating to the 'summit.news' article.

                    The information I provided will help others identify that the survey you provided was performed by a PR company.

                    Hope that makes it more clear to you, sorry to confuse you like that.

  18. weka 20

    So weird that we know so little of what's happening in Tonga due to the loss of communications. Terrible for those there needing to communication and those here with family and friends in Tonga.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/459644/watch-prime-minister-jacinda-ardern-addresses-situation-in-tonga-following-volcanic-eruption-tsunami

    • McFlock 20.1

      Weird, and very concerning.

      We can only hope for the best – that folks managed relatively well, but the infrastructure is what took the hit. People can move quicker than generators and wotnot.

  19. Dennis Frank 21

    weird that we know so little of what's happening in Tonga due to the loss of communications

    That's been puzzling me since it featured on tonight's tv news. Many years since international comms started operated on satellite networks. Maybe there's no geosynchronous satellite over Tonga? Or was there one in an orbit low enough for the belching volcano to fry it? Maybe the govt there had an uplink near the coast & the tsunami short-circuited it?

    • Koff 21.1

      The undersea cable between Nuku'alofa and Suva shut down supposedly because of the power outage. Think NZ has been in touch via satellite phone with the NZ High Commission in Tongatapu. Random pics coming through from the nearest islands to the volcano on Facebook (Ha'apai), but tbh those islands have never recovered from severe cyclone damage in recent years so hard to say what has been caused by the tsunami.

  20. Anne 22

    Bye bye Djkovic.

    He has nobody to blame but himself. Reckon he'll blame everyone but himself. Self entitled pricks are like that. I've known quite a few over the years.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/novak-djokovic-to-be-booted-from-australia-as-legal-challenge-dismissed/UKHS2VKJNRXZX4MZUERKG4XSFI/

    • Blazer 22.1

      No way the aussie Govt was going to lose face over this saga.

      • woodart 22.1.1

        dont think there's any winners with this fiasco .

      • Anne 22.1.2

        Too true, but nevertheless Djkovic did bring it on himself. All he had to do was have the vaccination.

        And agree woodart. Neither Djkovic nor the Aussie govt./establishment comes out of this one smelling of roses.

        • woodart 22.1.2.1

          or aus tennis. but look on the bright side. novax can be the most famous 501 .

        • RedLogix 22.1.2.2

          Ah yes "Vaccines will make you free".

          • Drowsy M. Kram 22.1.2.2.1

            yes Excellent pro-vaccine comment – well done that man.

            Get your booster to stay safe this summer
            People aged 18 and over can now get a vaccine booster 4 months after their second dose. Visit a walk-in vaccination centre or book by calling 0800 28 29 26. You can book online from 17 January.

            https://derekberes.substack.com/p/how-about-not-using-the-holocaust

            • RedLogix 22.1.2.2.1.1

              How about not being a pack of sadists.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                How about not being a pack of sadists.

                sadist
                /ˈseɪdɪst/
                noun
                noun: sadist; plural noun: sadists

                1. a person who derives pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting pain or humiliation on others.

                Who is inflicting pain or humiliation in this thread @22, and who is the recipient of that supposed pain and humiliation?

                I thought your comment @22.1.2.2 was excellent, and said so. Honestly, your worldview becomes more fantastic to me with every comment.

                • RedLogix

                  Who is inflicting pain or humiliation in this thread,

                  Oh it's a restrained, refined sort of humiliation – but the gratification and gloating is plain enough.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Again, "who is the recipient of that supposed pain and humiliation?"

                    If it's the current world no. 1 ranked professional tennis player Djokovic, do you really, in your wildest dreams, think that he's even aware of the supposedly sadistic comments in this thread, let alone that those comments might cause him pain and/or humiliation?

                    I can admire Djokovic's tennis skills, although I've never warmed to him as a sports personality, and certainly his antics wrt vaccines against COVID (which I was unaware of until this year) are a turnoff – no doubt he is a symbol for many anti-vaxxers, and that's all I need to know.

                    The rest is just a bit of harmless fun, some of it quite humorous at that.

                    • RedLogix

                      Djokovic went to Australia to play tennis, not to become any kind of symbolic antivax warrior. The entire affair revolves around the Australian govts irrational desire to act the big bad COVID bully.

                      It's a vote winner among a certain type.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Surely the entire affair revolves around Djokovic's established antics wrt vaccines – I'll give him credit for making no secret of his beliefs.

                    What has Novak Djokovic actually said about vaccines?
                    [6 January 2022]
                    One influential conspiracy-laced account claimed the star was a "political prisoner" and asked: "If this is what they can do to a multimillionaire superstar, what can they do to you?"

                    Well precisely – if "a multimillionaire superstar" can't get ‘justice’…

                    Taken for fools’: Djokovic’s vaccine ‘medical exemption’ slammed [5 January 2022]
                    Unvaccinated Djokovic’s clearance to play in the Australian Open has not been welcomed by all.

                    It sends an appalling message to millions seeking to reduce #COVID19Aus risk to themselves & others. #Vaccination shows respect, Novak,” tweeted Stephen Parnis, a former vice-president of the Australian Medical Association.

                    I don’t care how good a tennis player he is. If he’s refusing to get vaccinated, he shouldn’t be allowed in.

                    Maybe the good doctor is right. And maybe Djokovic won't be saying too much about vaccines in the near future – but you never know.

                    …the big bad COVID bully.

                    I believe there are various types of COVID bullies, some in favour of vaccination, and some not. Bullying behaviour is detestable – it shows a real defect of character, imho.

    • Shanreagh 22.3

      Novak Djokovic has joined Jordan Peterson in the very highest echelons of those I do not admire.

      My list of twits.

      'Novak meet Jordan' and 'Jordan meet Novak'.

  21. Koff 23

    The whole Djokovic saga has been far more entertaining than either the tennis or the cricket, but then I can't stand spectator sport! Hope it doesn't tip the balance of public opinion towards Scomo's scummy lot.

Leave a Comment

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • How we’re preparing for Omicron
    As countries around the world experience Omicron outbreaks, we’re taking steps now to ensure we’re as prepared as possible and our communities are protected. ...
    2 days ago
  • What’s Labour achieved so far?
    Quite a bit! This Government was elected to take on the toughest issues facing Aotearoa – and that’s what we’re doing. Since the start of the pandemic, protecting lives and livelihoods has been a priority, but we’ve also made progress on long-term challenges, to deliver a future the next generation ...
    1 week ago
  • Tackling the big issues in 2022
    This year, keeping Kiwis safe from COVID will remain a key priority of the Government – but we’re also pushing ahead on some of New Zealand’s biggest long-term challenges. In 2022, we’re working to get more Kiwis into homes, reduce emissions, lift children out of poverty, and ensure people get ...
    1 week ago

  • New Zealand to provide further help for Tonga
    Aotearoa New Zealand is giving an additional $2 million in humanitarian funding for Tonga as the country recovers from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last weekend, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. This brings Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to $3 million. “This support will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work
    The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said. “Our response to COVID has helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Northland to move to Orange, NZ prepared for Omicron 
    Northland to move to Orange Rest of New Zealand stays at Orange in preparedness for Omicron All of New Zealand to move into Red in the event of Omicron community outbreak – no use of lockdowns Govt planning well advanced – new case management, close contact definition and testing rules ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu
    A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has departed Base Auckland Whenuapai for Tonga carrying aid supplies, as the New Zealand aid effort ramps up, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand congratulates Tonga's new Prime Minister on appointment
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Hon Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni on being appointed Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Tonga have an enduring bond and the Kingdom is one of our closest neighbours in the Pacific. We look forward to working with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High-tech investment extends drought forecasting for farmers and growers
    The Government is investing in the development of a new forecasting tool that makes full use of innovative climate modelling to help farmers and growers prepare for dry conditions, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said.  The new approach, which will cost $200,000 and is being jointly funded through the Ministry for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Support for fire-hit Waiharara community
    The government will contribute $20,000 towards a Mayoral Relief Fund to support those most affected by the fires in Waiharara in the Far North, Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan says. “I have spoken to Far North Mayor John Carter about the effect the fires continue to have, on residents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Manawatū’s ‘oases of nature’ receive conservation boost
    The Government is throwing its support behind projects aimed at restoring a cluster of eco-islands and habitats in the Manawatū which were once home to kiwi and whio. “The projects, which stretch from the Ruahine Ranges to the Horowhenua coastline, will build on conservation efforts already underway and contribute ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to continue Solomon Islands support
    A New Zealand Defence Force and Police deployment to help restore peace and stability to Solomon Islands is being scaled down and extended. The initial deployment followed a request for support from Solomon Islands Government after riots and looting in capital Honiara late last month. They joined personnel from Australia, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago