Open mike 16/04/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 16th, 2020 - 247 comments
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247 comments on “Open mike 16/04/2020 ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    I wonder if it is possible to join the dots between the sudden appearance on social media of an apparently coordinated character assassination of Siouxsie Wiles by the right wing and Blackland PR being engaged to be the front of hard right business interests determined to undermine the governments COVID-19 response plan?

    Dirty politics as a tactic for those business interests with sociopathatic leadership is for them just business as usual.

    • tc 1.1

      DP never went away it just evolves with the times.

      NZ's media dominated by it sadly not having any form of decent public broadcasting to act as a sanity break. Hooton on RNZ shows how low the bar is.

      • I Feel Love 1.1.1

        While reading the comments on Hootons number tweet I saw people making fun of Wiles, I didn't quite understand why. But typical DP play, bullying.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Hmmmm, our parrot has started barking like the dog. I assume that he has decided to profitably spend the lockdown learning another language but it is rather disconcerting to be barked at by a parrot.

    #Annyoing Parrot

    • Cinny 2.2

      May I suggest not exposing the parrot to any of simon bridges soundbites 🙂

    • Forget now 2.3

      Sounds like the parrot had the same idea you do! Does the dog bark/talk back to it?

      • Sanctuary 2.3.1

        Dog doesn't bark much at all, except when he manages to lock himself outside or he can see his water bowl through the glass door but his lack of opposable thumbs and height counts against him in terms of getting to it.

    • weka 2.4

      Took me a few moments to understand you are talking about an actual parrot in your home, not a right winger on TS or in the wider commentariat.

    • millsy 2.5

      Where people see a parrot, or any kind of bird, I see shit, shit and more shit. Plus feathers everywhere, and birdseed flung as far as the eye can see.

  3. A 3

    Some ideas on how to prosper without higher taxes

    – tap into the sudden increase of enquiries about how to move to NZ….

    – increase royalties for all NZ natural resource exports (including metals, and especially water which shouldn't be going anywhere but if it must we need to profit and stop gifting it)

    – legal cannabis sales, collect tax. End all cannabis related convictions and release anyone convicted from prison

    – encourage self sufficiency and personal responsibility

    – either optimize or remove costly government ad campaigns, especially on television. Only provide information that is not already found easily, ie mostly stuff related to the government

    – force DHBs to reduce G&A expenses

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.1

      We have an enormous inequality problem, where most have very little compared to a handful who have almost everything. This is the main reason most are not prospering (there is already plenty of wealth in nz for everyone to do quite well already) .

      Targeted higher taxes (among other things) can directly address this and move wealth from the very rich to everyone else. I can't see how any of your proposals will help with this? I suppose your proposed increased royalties (i.e. Tax) on resource exports might to some extent., depending on who is doing the exporting.

      • Forget now 3.1.1

        A doesn't say that his notions are for the country as a whole to benefit US, just; "some ideas on how to prosper". I am assuming that he means themselves to do well out of the crisis; as they evidently have no concern for anyone else.

        The "encourage… personal responsibility" line in particular has a very; pull yourself up by your bootstraps vibe about it. Something that used to be regarded as a literal impossibility (how we might say; walk over to Australia). But is treated as a required prerequisite to being regarded as a real person by those who have already been lifted up by social advantages they feign ignorance of.

        • RedBaronCV

          Right up there with "sell passports" -tap into the interest in moving to NZ.

          Generally right wing troll tropics trying to divert discussion away from changes that won't benefit them.

          And to divert attention from the horribly selfish behaviour of the few taking million dollar salaries & government subsidies and while chopping low range salaries.

          And their favourite news media is going broke. There will be higher taxes for the 1%

          I thought the prime minister was interesting yesterday at lunchtime- making some off the cuff remarks about some of the selfish decisions of the owner sector that they had seen.

    • I Feel Love 3.2

      Check out the doco Murder Mountain, when California legalised pot a bunch of illegal growers try go legit, and they have to pay for permits and get certified, show they don't use pesticides, package everything, get more certification, they basically all go back to selling illegally.

    • pat 3.3

      there will be higher 'taxes'…the question is who is going to pay them?

      The answer must be …those who can

      • pat 3.4.1

        wouldnt it just

      • RedBaronCV 3.4.2

        We certainly don't need a bunch of dodgy foreign capital coming our way.

        I suggested the other day that any assets in NZ owned through tax haven registered entities ( shares, land & buildings etc) be taxed at 100% of the asset /income.

        Grandfathering would also have to be checked through foreign registries to ensure no cutouts.

        Wayne though that was really bad – so there may be some thing in it.But we are facilitating if we allow this.

    • weka 3.5

      – tap into the sudden increase of enquiries about how to move to NZ….

      Yeah, nah, the last thing we need is a bunch of rich immigrants bringing their high GHG emission life to NZ.

      – increase royalties for all NZ natural resource exports (including metals, and especially water which shouldn't be going anywhere but if it must we need to profit and stop gifting it)

      Better to stop giving private companies the right to make profit off finite resources. Nationalise the lot, or just ban the stupid shit like exporting bottled water (apart from humanitarian/crisis aid). Best resist the temptation to respond to the pandemic by becoming more polluting.

      – legal cannabis sales, collect tax. End all cannabis related convictions and release anyone convicted from prison

      Yep. Make cannabis growing legal and free, and tax product appropriately. Lots of savings here.

      – encourage self sufficiency and personal responsibility

      Fund community and home gardens and orchards. Relocalise food supply. Build strong community.

      – either optimize or remove costly government ad campaigns, especially on television. Only provide information that is not already found easily, ie mostly stuff related to the government

      Use government owned media to teach civics.

      – force DHBs to reduce G&A expenses

      Reform the health system so that it is not based around business management. Fund community and homebased health care, especially preventative. Reduce poverty markedly to take the pressure off the health system.

      • RedBaronCV 3.5.1

        I've long wondered if we should set some resource taxes e.g on water or waste but make them offset against income tax if that is paid. So if you just export water a resource tax is paid at the max personal rate. If you use it locally to make bottled drinks then the resouce tax payments go against your income tax assessment but there is no refund if they exceed the income tax.

  4. I Feel Love 4

    Pregnant nurses fear for their safety (among all UK health workers of course), this is what we have been saved from (so far).

    & more anti lockdown protests, this time in Michigan, Trump fans berating one of the "women governors" (as Trump likes to call them). I have American friends, and they despair and can't figure out what's happening (yet still going out to get their cappuccinos & not understanding my own bewilderment at that!).

    We are lucky here.

  5. Ross 5

    The University of Iceland has predicted that there will be no new cases of Covid-19 in Iceland by the end of this month. That would be quite a feat considering Iceland hasn't been in lockdown. However, it did begin testing its population at the end of January, before anyone in Iceland had tested positive for the virus and more than a month before it was declared a pandemic.

    [I haven’t been following your pandemic line on TS, other than the occasional cursory glance, but if this comment is anything to go by I’m not impressed. Your comment here is misleading, and in the general thrust of politics that probably wouldn’t matter so much. In a global and national health crisis where people are dying, imo it’s grossly irresponsible. You’ve had other moderator attention, you’ve now got this one’s too. This is your chance to stop cherry picking data and information to support your line and be more honest and explanatory about what you are trying to say, rather than making implications via by gets left unsaid unsaid – weka]

    • Gabby 5.1

      Lean times ahead for Icelandic funeral directors then, unless the predictions are wrong.

    • weka 5.2

      "That would be quite a feat considering Iceland hasn't been in lockdown."

      You make it sound so easy. In reality they did a range of things including banning gatherings, closing pubs, libraries etc, closing higher schools, putting physical distancing in place, closing businesses that couldn't function with a 2m rule, quarantining returning citizens.

      From your link,

      The model provides two predictions: a median or ‘probable’ forecast and a pessimistic forecast. The number of new cases recorded daily will drop to an average of 0 by the end of April according to the ‘probable’ forecast. The pessimistic forecast estimates around three to four new cases per day.

      The model also predicts the number of people that will need hospital treatment. The number of hospitalisations at any one time was previously expected to peak at between 60 and 90 patients last week, but there are currently only 39 hospitalised COVID-19 patients in Iceland. However, the Director for Health, Alma Möller has warned that the the number of patients in Iceland’s hospitals is likely to increase in the coming weeks, as the hospitalisation rate tends to peak a couple of weeks after the infection rate.

      It’s worth bearing in mind that the forecasts are constantly changing to reflect the latest developments in Iceland’s COVID-19 outbreak, so predictions are highly likely to change in the future. But as time passes and more data is collected, the model will become more stable and accurate.


      As of 15 April 2020, the total number of cases registered is 1,727, of which 1,077 have recovered and 8 have died.[1][4] With a total population of 364,260 (as of 31 December 2019), the infection rate is 1 case per 211 inhabitants, one of the highest in the world, though this is attributed to more tests have been carried out per capita in Iceland than any other country; these include a screening of the general population run by Icelandic company deCODE genetics to determine the true spread of the virus in the community.[5]

      My emphasis.

      Relatively small population, and physical isolation will be playing a big part in their situation. Their death rate will be much higher than NZ too, per head of population.

    • weka 5.3

      mod note for you Ross.

      • Alice Tectonite 5.3.1


        if this comment is anything to go by…

        Its the same type of "argument" Ross usually makes on climate change. Argument by insinuation from extremely selective source(s) often quoted misleadingly. Then often followed by denial of having made any argument…

        Ross has just switched from minimising/denying climate change to minimising COVID-19.

        • I Feel Love

          The nutters have moved on from Iceland, it's now Papua New Guinea as the wunderkid of not locking down and minimal cases …

    • Ross 5.4


      I referenced a positive and factual story. I would have thought readers might might find it useful. I think most people, with perhaps the odd exception, would be delighted if there were no new cases by the end of this month.

      Someone on here recently referenced 80,000 deaths in NZ, a worst case scenario that was fanciful and apparently had no basis in reality. Cherry picking indeed.

      [ok, well given how many times you’ve been warned by moderators and chosen to ignore them, and here you are doing it again, I’m happy to put you on the black list and take it to be back end to be sorted out. For me personally, this is wasting moderator time, and atm I have way less patience for that than normal. Any comments you make from now on will be visible to the mods but not the front end. At some point someone will make a decision and post it under this comment – weka]

      [Your continued inability and unwillingness to change your behaviour has caused a lot of trouble for Moderators here as well as wasted countless time of other commenters who tried to engage with you in good faith. You have received attention of Moderators in Moderation notes and comments yet you invariably fail to respond and take heed, argue, and simply continue. At the best of times, which these are not, you would receive a series of relatively short bans. However, with the pandemic and the Election looming, we cannot afford the extra stress and wasting more time on you, especially when it is blatantly obvious that you are not going to change your ways. For further explanation, you can search on all the Moderation notes and comments from Moderators this year alone.

      Banned for 10 months – Incognito]

      • Incognito 5.4.1

        The NZ study was based on modelling, which was based on best available evidence at the time.

        Turns out, the model predictions were pretty good:

        The same team is preparing another study for Government as we speak:

        Auckland University Professor Shaun Hendy is expected to submit to the government tomorrow his team's modelling on the risks of an outbreak from easing the lockdown.

        The team had about three-quarters of the data they needed, after improvements in how it was coming through in the past week, he said, but some of the contact tracing data was "really weak".

        You quoted yet another “positive and factual story”, which happened to be a modelling study too! Yet you think yours might be useful while the other one was “fanciful and apparently had no basis in reality”. I beg to differ. In any case, this is NZ and a modelling study specific to NZ is highly relevant and has a firm basis in reality. Your gaslighting is tedious to an extreme.

        Here’s the thing, you cherry pick links & quotes, you make no argument of your own, you don’t respond to replies by either commenters or Moderators except to fob them off, you keep repeating this pattern (as you did with your comments on CC), you have drawn the attention of three Moderators and continue wasting Moderator time, you are wasting the time of others, et cetera.

        I have warned you only recently that if you don’t start to comment here in good faith and lift your game you would be Blacklisted for the rest of the year, as far as I was concerned. Another Moderator has already parked you there but suffice to say, you won’t be reversing out any time soon.

      • Incognito 5.4.2

        See my Moderation note @ 11:55 AM.

  6. Wayne 6

    Yesterday I argued for a covid tax income tax increase to 40% for income above $120,000.

    I know that many on this site want to use the Covid crisis to permanently change the economy. I personally think that is wrong. It is going to be hard enough to recover without imposing an economic revolution on top, and without any democratic mandate.

    But obviously a lot will change. Government is already bigger. It will drive infrastructure spending. It is rescuing businesses and people alike. At the minimum this is going to cost $20 billion at the very time when the tax base has collapsed. So probably $20 billion extra spending, and $20 billion lost revenue, a total of $40 billion. That will drive debt up to 35% of GDP. It could easily be more than that. So massive deficits for years to come, which have to be paid for.

    So what does a tax increase to 40% do? It obviously gets more govt revenue, but it also takes that money out of the wider economy, right at the time when that demand is required. So this is a tricky dilemma for govt. And that dilemma exists whether a govt is left or right.

    A 40% tax rate will probably produce around $5 billion per year. Total income tax for the year is about $50 billion, so it is around a 10% increase in the total tax. However, incomes across the board have dropped, so it probably will get more like $3 billion, rather than $5 billion.

    Some here would argue that the 40% rate should be permanent, but like all taxes they are subject to the govt of the day. I know that many here will disagree with National's tax reduction packages of 2009 and 2010. One of the drivers of them was to increase demand in the economy. I would say that worked. New Zealand came out of the GFC much faster than countries that increased taxes.

    So in principle (my principles) a Covid tax surcharge should be short-lived. Enough to get the govt books going back in the right direction. In my view, probably 2 or 3 years. The surcharge doesn’t have to pay back all the debt, a lot that will naturally occur as the economy gets back to normal size, probably 2 to 3 years from now.

    As I noted above, there is a strong argument that increasing taxes right at the time the economy is retracting is the worst thing you can do. All that happens is that it steepens the dive.

    I have no doubt Treasury will be doing some careful modelling on all this. It will be good for that to be made public. This is one of those occasions where the public should see these assessments as they are made. Before any tax increase is actually imposed.

    • Tax at 39% (as it used to be) would be more politically palatable.

      A land tax in addition would be easy to administer and bring in plenty. Farms above 20 hectares to be taxed at half the general rate.

    • KJT 6.2

      I think we can agree on an increase in the top tax rate, though I would go a bit further, and have a higher rate over, say, 300k.

      I doubt if it will decrease economic activity. People with higher incomes don't usually spend their marginal income directly. Spending it on reducing debt, or buying "investments".

      What will increase economic activity, is dropping the "paperboy tax". Combining an increase in top tax rates with a no tax lower threshold. Australia was about 9000k., when I was there.

      Everyone has now seen the problems with reducing the size of Government, and the services it provides, too much, from recent direct experience. The USA, now being a horrific warning, rather than an example to follow. Even the inaptly named "tax payers union, I doubt they will want to reduce it again, in a hurry.

      I doubt if National’s tax switch, increasing GST, while decreasing tax on high earners really increased demand. Even a simplistic analysis suggests higher consumption taxes, combined with lower taxes on people that don’t spend all their income, has the opposite effect.

      I think all of treasuries modelling should be public. It is paid for by the public, after all.

    • Treetop 6.3

      I really hope that NZ fairs better with cases of Covid-19. The cost to the health system is going to be high due to the systemic complications of Covid-19.

      Do you think there needs to be a health levy like with a petrol levy?

    • Ad 6.4

      Wayne good on you for proposing a tax increase as an ex-National government Minister.

      I haven't seen any commentary that the government is short of funding capacity to get the stuff done it needs.

      So I don't see why taxing the rich would help the most.

      I do agree with it in principle however – to at least reverse the tax cuts back to 39% at the top, for simple reasons of gradually decreasing inequality.

      I would prefer to see tax decreases, to get money circulating around our economy faster:

      – Wiping tax on NZSuper

      – Wiping tax on welfare payments

      – Consider wiping tax on low paid incomes.

      Give the cash back to the poorest, because they will be being hit hardest.

      • Craig H 6.4.1

        Welfare payments largely aren't taxed now, they are generally either exempt income (not taxable – accommodation supplement and working for families are two examples), or tax is calculated on the net figure, so a tax reduction has no impact on the benefit amounts paid.

      • Mpk 6.4.2

        Hi. There are some quite good economic theories that give the opposite results to what you suggest here.

        In these views tax is seen as a means to discourage the accumulation of dead money in stagnating pools of wealth. If accumulated wealth is hit reasonably hard then the incentive is to keep the money moving to avoid the tax man. This increases the velocity of money rather than decreases it. Makes sense to me.

        And this is precisely why the rich should be taxed reasonably heavily because they are the ones with stagnating pools of money. Everyone else keeps circulating theirs of necessity.

      • weka 6.4.3

        – Wiping tax on welfare payments

        Assuming* this would increase the dole (single adult/no kids) by $30, which on top of the recent $25, it would be a really good start. But, it needs to happen alongside welfare reform, because people getting supplementary benefits won't get those full amounts (because of how the formulas work). If the idea is to give the money to those that need it most, then removing tax, or even raising core benefits, isn't sufficient on its own.

        *See Craig's point above.

        • Wayne

          I don't think it would be politically sustainable (or fair) to give two increases in welfare payments, the first being $25 on 1 April, and the second by eliminating all tax on welfare payments. The first is enough.

          Not when a huge number of people who are still in work have had significant reductions in income. Especially small to medium business, who are really taking a huge hit. And those in work including wages and salaries who have lost income are still paying tax, but probably can barely afford it.

          So I am pretty certain that won't happen. Anyway the Treasury needs to release all its advice to government on these issues.

          • RedBaronCV

            What is absolutely politically unsustainable is handing out wage subsidies so that workers can live on minimum dollars whilst the bosses swan through on multi million dollars salaries. A lot of yesterdays workers will be tomorrows beneficiaries

          • KJT

            The problem here, as we saw after the Richardson budget, is that Government welfare payments into communities, is a big part of the money that small business relies on to survive.

            I think we can both agree it would be better if they were working, but the miserly level of welfare, along with rising unemployment, is exactly what killed small business in places like Moerewa, at the time.

            Anyway, the demand from now out of work, middle class people, when they end up on welfare will, most likely, cause a rethink. When they find out the hard way, how miserable and punitive, it is.

          • Wayne

            I also think the wage subsidy should be extended for another 3 months, which I aim certain will happen. But in addition I also think the $585 should continue to be paid to those who actually lose their jobs. At least for a six month period.

            I know that is a different approach to normal, where a person loosing their job goes immediately to the basic unemployment benefit, plus additional amounts for children. However, if it is the Covid effect that has resulted in the job loss then I think this is justifiable.

            • Barfly

              Ah yes those in hardship are deserving if it is covid 19 related( obviously ) but for others in hardship well they can get stuffed (obviously they are undeserving)

              How very very National Party of you Wayne

            • Brigid

              " I also think the $585 should continue to be paid to those who actually lose their jobs."

              How magnificently magnanimous of you. Workers do appreciate this largess and while accept the debt that will result know full well of course that it is they who will ultimately pay it.

            • UncookedSelachimorpha

              Absolutely. Keep all those other beneficiaries in abject grinding poverty, for no good reason. Good for society, good for the nation, good for the economy.

          • weka

            This doesn't really make sense to me Wayne. Increasing benefits, by whatever means, isn't an argument to not support other people going through hard times.

            Fairness is in the eye of the beholder I guess. I mean, how fair is it to economically coerce people into long term poverty? We've been socially sanctioning that for 30 years.

            "The first is enough"

            Only if you think it's fair to keep people in poverty.

            • weka

              btw, there will be lots of beneficiaries that didn't get a rise of $25/wk, because of the supplementary formulas. So maybe consider that in your fairness calculation too.

              • bill

                there will be lots of beneficiaries that didn't get a rise of $25/wk…

                I'm one who didn't.

          • bill

            In solidarity with MPs taking a 20% hit, I'm now drinking and eating my barely affordable basics 20% slower than before.

            btw – what happened to that institutional bind that prevented MPs from rejecting their pay awards? It would seem that was never really the bind we were told it was, aye?

      • Climaction 6.4.4

        Why not take KiwiSaver contributions out gross salary and tax the net salary? Increase the Capital base as a counter to foreign investors.

        • RedBaronCV

          Which was what we did before Bill English handed out high end tax cuts and recouped them to be fiscally neutral by increasing taxes at the lower end

    • ScottGN 6.5

      Any perceived increased demand generated in the economy by National’s so-called tax cuts in 09/10 was more than offset by their increase to GST, ACC levies and the massive increase they levied on car regos, which they used to turn off and on like a tap depending how close we were to a general election

    • millsy 6.6

      I'm pretty sure that your lot will want to impose austerity and cut regulations to protect New Zealanders.

    • RedBaronCV 6.7

      DON'T fall for this peeps. The right wing are trying to control the tax discussion to suit themselves. Note the troll army popping up to congratulate Wayne.

      What the right wing doesn't want :

      a wealth tax as it catches the genuine rich as opposed to a CGT which taxes the odd transaction. American billionaires hate it so it must be good. Set the level at $10m- $20m and up.

      High income taxes at high thresholds – note the $120k of earnings proposed – which is a lot different to $500k -to wind up a bunch of people who are hardly genuinely rich.

      We need a "selfish tax" above say $500k at 70%. We need look through taxes so trusts, individuals and closed companies are taxed at the max personal rate to prevent money being left in companies waiting for a more favourable tax climate.

      Anything owned by a tax haven entity 100% of income & assets.

      Taxes on worldwide income – for citizens & residents – the likes of Peter Thiel can make a contribution

    • Nic the NZer 6.8

      This seems a reasonable proposal Wayne. We should understand a few things which you have acknowledged in some form however,

      "So what does a tax increase to 40% do? It obviously gets more govt revenue, but it also takes that money out of the wider economy, right at the time when that demand is required. So this is a tricky dilemma for govt. And that dilemma exists whether a govt is left or right."

      A significant part of the treasury modelling will be to determine if the tax net improves or worsens the govt finances. On the one hand if the economy comes out strongly from lock-down than a surtax on incomes over $120,000 is unlikely to cut into GDP and so the country can implement this policy without shooting itself in the foot. On the other hand if the situation goes like recent well known examples from Japan and Greece then the tax increase response could cut into GDP so much that even the governments finances worsen from the extra tax (not that we should be worried about govt finances anyway). In the case of Greece for example the economy shrank 25% in response to economic reforms making the net govt finances come out worse from the post GFC economic than without the reforms.

      We should also acknowledge that all govt taxing and spending happens inside the RBNZ accounts and the ability of the govt to make payments to citizens as it sees fit will never be threatened in any way because of this fact. With this in mind the main reason for a more progressive income tax being applied is to lessen the income inequality effects in the economy of course. I am sure this is exactly why your proposing it anyway, Wayne.

      Finally just a little jab but, "I know that many here will disagree with National's tax reduction packages of 2009 and 2010. One of the drivers of them was to increase demand in the economy." -Wayne

      Well Bill English said this policy was fiscally neutral. Are you accusing him of lying?

      • Wayne 6.8.1


        The 2009 tax package was a tax reduction. The 2010 package was tax neutral. I did run them together in my comment, but as you noted they were different.

        • Barfly

          The tax neutral changes…is that the 1 where the englishman who was it? Reynolds? running Xtra pocketed an extra $5000 per week – paid by poor people getting humped by GST.

          The National Party they love poor people so much they always try to create more of them.


          • UncookedSelachimorpha

            And they want to tax being poor, to motivate people not to be poor.

        • Nic the NZer

          That's actually news to me Wayne. I was not in New Zealand at the time. But your correct the National government introduced a 1% stimulus (for high income earners) tax reduction in 2009 and in 2010 a purportedly fiscally neutral, but probably mildly contractionary (given its regressive nature) adjustment.

          It seems to me you are implicitly agreeing that 2010 was not a great policy given the differences in your comment today don't include getting almost anybody to pay more tax, and your still being very careful to highlight it might never the less impact the recovery.

          • Gabby

            Come on man, if poor people were too lazy and useless to earn enough to get a tax break, that was hardly Bingles' fault was it.

          • Wayne

            I think the rebalancing in 2010 was right. It was better to change the ratio between income tax and GST. I know a lot of commenters here think it was not fiscally neutral, but it was. We went to a lot of trouble in the design of the package to ensure all lower income people were not worse off, including those on benefits.
            That meant is was not contractionary, and in fact it was intended to increase expenditure by the public. From what I saw, it did. New Zealand came out of the GFC faster than other countries.

  7. Ad 7

    The continent I worry about the most for wars breaking out in the next year is Africa.

    Just in the oil price collapse alone, all those emerging petro-states just won't be getting the money in to pay for what their states need. Angola, Guinea, Ivory Coast, and other emerging economies who were supported by new production are going to be smashed. Even Congo and the really large producers like Nigeria will have had their oil demand cut massively because China just doesn't need as much oil for the next 6 months or so.

    That's where people start to scramble to protect what is theirs or could be theirs, gather their arms and their militias, and governments get shaky.

    There's plenty we need to worry about here, but oil production addiction and its fatal consequences isn't one of them.

  8. Cinny 8

    Trump is currently spreading his own brand of propaganda…. here's the link to watch the live stream

    • Anne 8.1

      Thanks Cinny. I note the woman who is currently speaking is saying all the things Trump should be saying but isn't because he thinks its all about himself.

      • Treetop 8.1.1

        Like a cult leader trying to brainwash?

        • Anne

          Exactly. I've had to turn it off. He's on a diatribe about Congress supposedly preventing some of America's best people being appointed to god only knows what positions and you just know he's telling massive porkies. What has that got to do with the pandemic?

          Why don't the press corp just get up and walk out of this presser en masse. That would make people sit up and take notice.

      • Cinny 8.1.2

        That was a short presser, I wonder where Fauci is?

        Lolz Anne, this will make you laugh, I ended up tuning into a stream with live chat, so I could participate. Turned out to be a MAGA style stream and chat… whoopsie, they didn't like what I had to say.

        A massive lack of international media coverage in the USA has given the people there a very false sense of reality.

        Anyways, tune in tomorrow, trump says it's going to be a very big day….. will post a stream when it happens. He was almost an hour late today.

        • Anne

          , I ended up tuning into a stream with live chat, so I could participate. Turned out to be a MAGA style stream and chat… whoopsie, they didn't like what I had to say.

          I'd love to do something like that but it would be better if I didn't. I'm likely to say something that would cause a rumpus…. 😮

  9. Adrian 9

    Good analysis Wayne, generally I agree. If you will excuse a few observations, debt at 35% of GDP is easily manageable, able to be wrestled down and was like that not that long ago and also, we survived the GFC because Michael Cullen was a careful manager who drove down debt and resisted constant haranguing to give a lot of it away, and I think we may be lucky again as Robertson seems to be cut from the same cloth. 120k is actually a shitload of money it is 3 times what most agricultural workers get for very hard work in conditions ranging from searing summer temps to freezing cold ones in winter and it is agri workers who will do the work that gets us out of this debt load.

    Being paid astronomical amounts of money for pushing paper around a desk and "managing " phalanxes of managers I doubt has earned a dollar of overseas income.

    How about we set it a few thousand above at top rate for a nurse, after all it is they who everytime they approach a car for a swab or comrfort a coughing patient they are doing the equivilant of going over the top of a trench on the Somme. I might be loading it up a bit but as the immediate death toll might not be as great or as sudden but the worry and anxiety are still there.

    It is very heartening to here from someone on the "other " team pressing for tax increases, good work mate.

    • RedBaronCV 9.1

      It's just the right trying to control and amplify the tax discussion on their terms. We have a country where a very large portion of people do not have the resilience and background resources to last for 4-6 weeks and still buy food. Right wing economics got us there so why would we not want to change it.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 9.1.1

        Absolutely. The truly rich don't have much declared income as a rule – and income tax is a trifle for them.

        Wealth tax!!

  10. UncookedSelachimorpha 10

    Great suggestion from the CTU today – change the benefit system to remove the distinction between single applicants and people in relationships. Most couples both need to have jobs these days anyway, so if one or the other is short of work, give them a benefit while their partner works. Or if both are out of work, give both a full benefit.

    CTU economist Andrea Black said underlying the benefit rules for relationships was a "1950s expectation that one partner will support the other".

    "But since about the '90s our households have kept off hardship … by both partners going out to work.

    "Now that we are coming into a world with increased unemployment, this is going to become more exacerbated. You have one partner lose their job and if the other partner is even full-time minimum wage, the household has completely lost that second income."

    • KJT 10.1

      It has always been an anomaly.

      We generally pay taxes as an individual, so welfare should also be, individual.

      Time the Government "got out of our bedrooms" and using who you are sleeping with to target welfare.

      The male "breadwinner" earning enough to support a family on his own, hasn't been the case, for decades.

      • RedBaronCV 10.1.1

        I have seen all sorts of clashes between the tax system based on individual income annually in arrears concepts and benefits which are based on household weekly in advance income. Bear in mind though that there can be adverse consequences – single person households still get to pay the same rates and utilities as couple households.

        And right across the income brackets and no matter where the income comes from I've seen women who are paying the necessary expenses while male income goes on discretionary choices.

        • KJT

          A couple who are, "flatmates" gets the benefit as singles, when a couple who are "in the nature of a relationship" get a lesser amount.

          Basically the Government expects someone to be able to live on less, if they are, " sleeping" with the person they share a dwelling with.

          Does that also apply to Gay couples? devil

          And your last comment was the reason behind paying Family benefit, to mothers.

          • RedBaronCV

            Yes those comments are correct – households of the same size may have very different incomes based on their "status" towards each other. The absolute size of a household doesn't adjust the amount that they pay towards the basics too much. Personally I like universal basic services so we quit the profiteering around power braodband etc.

            As to the family benefit I worry a little about creating a larger class of entitled males who attempt to live off the income of her and the kids.

          • Forget now

            If a same-sex couple has a civil union then; yes they would be expected to get by on less than if they were only fuckbuddies. Though in practice, probably less likely to get caught by violating the; not more than 3nights together a week or else you are assumed to be married rule, if it is a more casual thing.

            There seems to be a total blind spot when it comes to Polyamory however. So essentially Work and Income is incentivising people on benefits to join sexgangs and never have a committed relationship with any single individual.

            • bill

              not more than 3nights together a week or else you are assumed to be married rule,

              Pretty sure it's financial interdependency that's the bar for "a relationship in the manner/nature of marriage" and not how often (or even if) you sleep with someone or shag.

              • KJT

                Not according to WINZ.

                • bill

                  Well, there must have been a law change some time after the late 90s, when it was established off the back of a WINZ appeal (became a precedent or whatever that's called in law) that co-habitation was based on financial arrangements and not sleeping arrangements.

                  Either that or WINZ is just playing fast and loose on the internal policy front.

                    • bill

                      Yes, but the legal definition of “living in a relationship” was subject to court proceedings in (from memory) the late 90s. And the court decision was that a relationship in the nature of marriage was determined by financial arrangements.

                      WINZ had to review and reverse a lot of decisions as a result.

                    • joe90

                      Yet just last year a CPAG presser called for another look at determining benefits and relationship status.


                    • Forget now []

                      The problem with being a solo parent is that you simply can't choose right over your children's wellbeing. Everyone knows that Work & Income (completely different to the old WINZ after the rebranding, of course) defines the rules however they want.

                      Should a solo parent accused of benefit fraud stand up and fight back? Probably. Will they, if the result is increased hardship for their children? No.

                      And because W&I know that no one will dare ask them why, they get to define the "nature of a marriage" for all poor families in a way that allows them to pay out as little money as possible. Do they still get bonuses for "saving taxpayer money" or has labour at least got rid of that incentive for cruelty?

                      Don't even get me started on co-parenting arrangements! Where unless each parent has sole court ordered custody of at least one child, W&I refuse to acknowledge that each parent will incur costs for maintaining residences for those children (eg winter heating allowence, accommodation supplement). You are expected instead supposed to negotiate that money from your (possibly abusive) ex – good luck on that!

                      The malice inherent in this is exacerbated by the fact that IRD readily accepts co-parenting arrangements for the purpose of calculating Working for Families payments. It's not government policy, this is all W&I bullshit.

                      But what are you going to do? Let your children starve? So you suck it up and carry on and hope that the children don't hear you weeping through the walls at night.

                    • Forget now []

                      Probably not such a good idea for me to be doing this, but this is a transcription of some guidelines a W&I officer left with my papers one time I was in begging for heating money:

                      No court ordered split care arrangement -Map


                      TE MANATU WHAKAHIATO ORA

                      Map. The Guide to Social Development Policy

                      Home| Income support | Main benefits | Sole Parent Support | Qualifications | Split Care | No court ordered split care arrangement


                      Printed **/**/2019[taking enough risks here as it is]


                      To help you decide which parent can get Sole Parent Support, in situations where there is no court ordered split care arrangement, use the following steps:

                      Step 1

                      If one parent receives Sole Parent Support you continue to pay it (the other parent cannot receive Sole Parent Support).

                      Step 2

                      If both parents apply for a benefit at the same time the parent who was mainly responsible for the day to day care of the children before the parents separated will get Sole Parent Support.

                      It may be necessary to interview both parents to ensure that they both agree on what is the case. If they do not agree you need to put the case of each to the other and come to a finding on what are the facts.


                      If it is not clear who was mainly responsible for the day to day care before the separation, the parent who is the principal day to day caregiver of the youngest child will get the Sole Parent Support.


                      If a client with children from a split care situation has a dependent child from another relationship you can pay them Sole Parent Support.

                      For more information see…


                      • Sole parent support: requirements section 29 Social Security Act 2018
                      • What is sole parent requirement section 30 Social Security Act 2018
                      • Sole parent support: situation of split care section 32 Social Security Act 2018

                      So if you can afford the lawyers and court fees, then you can get W&I assistance for childrearing costs. Otherwise it is first in first served between divorcing parents. Which advantages the parent who decides to break up the relationship for their own reasons over those trying to desperately keep a sinking ship afloat…

                      There were a bunch of other similar printouts referred to by W&I officers (seldom the same one between appointments – case managers seem to be a thing of the past). But this is the only sheet that; accidentally, made its way from the table into my own folder of paperwork.

                    • bill

                      @ Forget now

                      Noticed the abbreviation "map" in your comment. It's been a while, but I seem to remember that WINZ works from their own interpretation of the law, which is contained in (I think) map documentation.

                      And being a mere interpretation….

                      Anyway. I know of people who have been seriously done over by WINZ – who signed 'confessions' for stuff they weren't guilty of, off the back of being told that if things went to court they'd risk losing their children.

                  • KJT

                    I get the impression case managers make it up as they go.

                    WINZ has been pulled up by courts before, but it doesn't seem to have changed the culture.

  11. Sanctuary 11

    If you don't want your head to hurt with a incoherent dribble of first class inchoate boomer logic then I suggest you avoid Barry Soper's nonsense in the Herald today.

    One thing this pandemic has got me thinking about is how obsessed much of our aging right wing media like Soper still is with Muldoon. He haunts them and seems to still inform much of their world view. Muldoon and think big is constantly brought up in their shroud waving and they seem determined to endlessly re-fight the 1980s culture war that led to Rogernomics and the imprinting of neoliberalism as a social and class identifier for them and other boomers.

    Rob Muldoon died over a quarter of a century ago and lost power thirty six years ago. You have to be over fifty to even be able to recall his tenure in office. The fact so much of our MSM still frame their world view around an era and a man now a generation in the past calls into question how in touch with the modern world they really are.

    • KJT 11.1

      The majority of us "boomers" opposed the Neo-liberal disaster. That's why that Government only got one term, after the effects became obvious. And why we supported MMP, so the fuckers couldn't do it to us, again,

      Of course FPP made an alternative impossible.

      Many even voted for National, those that didn't try for the Alliance, who went into the election pretending they would reverse the "reforms". Of course they doubled down. Reducing welfare for those the "reforms" had rendered jobless, and other atrocities.

      Soper is no more representative of “boomers” than you are of whatever generation you were born into.

      • alwyn 11.1.1

        "That's why that Government only got one term"

        What are you talking about? The last one term Government we had was the Kirk/Rowling one from 1972 to 1975.

        Describing them as being Neo-liberal seems a bit far fetched unless you have your own unique interpretation of the phrase.

        • KJT

          One term, after we saw what they were doing. Which is what I said. Two terms, total.

          • alwyn

            They got re-elected in 1987 after Roger Douglas had announced all the changes that were going to happen and had introduced many of them.

            It was only after Lange got his knickers in a twist in December 1988, which was a year after their second election win, that things went downhill. I would say that they lost support because Lange lost his nerve rather than because of anything that Douglas did. Certainly I voted Labour in 1984 and 1987 and then voted National in 1990 after Labour fell over and collapsed into a smelly mess on the floor.

            • KJT

              You would have.

              By the middle of the second term the effects became apparent. What a fuckup it was.

              Even to Lange.

    • AB 11.2

      Feed Barry a cucumber and see if he tries to bark?

    • Barfly 11.3

      Muldoon – "the last social democrat" and the last time i voted national -( i don't think i voted in 87)

    • Brutus Iscariot 11.4

      It's the right's equivalent of leftists demanding to know every politician's view on the Springbok Tour.

  12. Forget now 12

    Schools are not just learning facilities, but also community hubs that are often saddled with the care of children with emotional and mental difficulties. Even when they dislike it school remains as a core part of most young people's experiences.

    This is from Hong Kong, but hard not to think that similar feelings must be brewing inside our own pupils (home-schooling started yesterday, but that's not the same as having your own peer group around). The 20% having maximum stress levels (though no baseline for comparison) is striking, but this quote hit me the hardest:

    "I have a huge wave of fear that I might contract the virus and thus can not make it to the exams…"

  13. Forget now 13

    I haven't been down to the beach for a while so missed this. Also wasn't someone swept away in similar high tides in Wellington yesterday? Are they alright?

  14. Molly 14

    Following a train of thought after taking time to converse with Gosman, I was reminded of an article I read fairly recently: Why We Need to Move Closer to King's Understanding of Nonviolence on Films For Action, written by Kazu Haga.

    Similar to Gosman's decided use of the term – harmless – it highlights flawed understanding of the terms non-violence and peace. It demonstrates how those terms are often used to silence or reprimand those who engage in activism.

    " Nonviolence is not simply the absence of violence, but about taking a proactive stand against violence and injustice, and working to repair the harm. "

    "Oftentimes, we think of peace as calm and quiet. We conjure up images of watching the sunset on a tropical beach, meditating in the forest by a creek, incense and scented candles. That can be as problematic as thinking that nonviolence is about not being violent. I guarantee you that the moment after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, things were really quiet. So did we create peace? If someone is screaming in my face, and I stop them by knocking them unconscious, did I just create peace?

    It is easier in the short term to sweep issues under the rug and settle for a cheap yet ultimately unsustainable negative peace.

    As ridiculous as that sounds, this is how our society tries to create peace, because we have such a gross misunderstanding of it. This is what allows us to justify going to war to create peace. If we just kill all the terrorists, we’ll have peace. It justifies the militarization of the police. If we just lock up all the protesters, then our streets will be quiet and peaceful. It justifies mass incarceration. If we just lock up all the bad people, we’ll have peaceful neighborhoods.

    Negative peace is prevalent in many of our relationships, homes, workplaces, faith communities and institutions. This is often the type of negative peace created and maintained by a ubiquitous, unspoken understanding that surfacing conflict is not welcome. My home country of Japan deals with this type of negative peace on a national level. As a culture, we tend to be conflict-averse. We are taught that the honorable thing is to hold it in, keep our heads down and endure. It is considered rude to bring up difficult topics that could create tension because we would be placing a burden on others. It’s impolite. So we endure.

    Japan may be one of the safest nations on Earth in terms of violent crime, and from the outside looking in, it looks peaceful. But we also have one of the highest suicide rates in the world. To learn to endure life’s challenges with dignity can absolutely be a positive trait, but when it results in a nation of people trying to simply endure trauma, isolation and living a life without purpose — when people are taught not to speak out about injustice and oppression and to “stay in their place” — that’s repression. It is negative peace."

    • Morrissey 14.1

      Molly, you are a serious and respectful commentator. Gosman is the very opposite. You should not waste your time on him. His record here is a disgrace.

      [Here on TS we encourage robust debate, which means that we give people an opportunity to voice their opinions on issues that are of interest them and others. Gosman usually presents a rather unique view but one that is worth presenting here on TS. As long as he stays within the rather lenient rules of this site, he’s free to comment.

      You, on the other hand, disagree with his opinions and you fob him off without addressing his comments. This is your prerogative but suggesting that others should too crosses the line of encouraging robust debate and strays into territory preserved for Moderators only.

      People can read and think form themselves and they don’t need your ‘help’ to form an opinion on Gosman’s comments rather than on the commenter, whom they won’t know from a bar of soap.

      IMO, you’re an arrogant twat who indulges in link-whoring to his own blog. You have no right to tell others what to think about another commenter unless you address their content and then only the content is up for debate. You can say what you think about the commenter, to a point, but you have to have good reason to stick personal labels on them and an even better reason to tell others to keep a wide berth.

      You can spend a week in the sin-bin – Incognito]

      • Incognito 14.1.1

        See my Moderation note @ 1:16 PM.

        • adam

          Funny then the commentator below deals with nothing of the content I put up, instead attacks my mental state, and you do nothing.

          Just an observation incognito.

          • Incognito

            [ counting to 10 ]

            Next time I need to do something other than keeping an eye on the playground called TS I will ask you(r) permission first.

            I have no idea what you are whingeing about; provide a link and/or a comment # and then I can have a look at it because you asked so nicely.

      • Bazza64 14.1.2

        Buenas Noches to the raving mosquito for a while, time to put away the can of Raid & roll up the mozzy net for a week.

  15. adam 15

    Bernie went full arsehole, and joined in blaming the voters, before they even vote for not liking biden.

    Establishment pukes and left liberals hate it when anyone questions there shitfuckery (global economic meltdown anyone) – and if your not towing the 'party' line your the enemy.

    This is why the left won't win, the centre left is a bunch of drop kicks who never compromise.

    When we get four more years of trump, are we going to get another 3 years of fubar conspiracy theories from these same pukes? I'd say yeah, they can't take responsibility for anything.

    • Andre 15.1

      I'm not sure whether you're going through the stages of grief, or just angry lashing out at those most likely to achieve some actual movement towards your claimed political goals is your default setting.

      • bill 15.1.1

        Biden has rape allegations sitting against him atm. Trump "grabs pussy".

        Biden has an F minus rating from various orgs on climate change. Trump isn't any better.

        Biden is nonchalantly corrupt. Trump is nonchalantly corrupt.

        Biden will lower Medicare to 60 (Clinton would have lowered the age to 50), and he'd veto medicare for all. Trump has rolled out free health care for Covid 19.

        Biden still openly supports free trade. Trump doesn't.

        Biden was VP when more people were deported than during any other term. Trump may have claimed that honour now (I don't know).

        Biden still believes in foreign military intervention. Trump less so (but is a hypocrite).

        Biden would be the natural extension of a party that has given Trump everything he has asked for (and more!) in terms of voting in his favour on important issues.(eg – military budgets, sanctions, war)

        And at the end of the day (though he's probably dead meat) Biden would take the US back to the Obama years that proved to be the launchpad for Trump.

        • Andre

          Progress isn't achieved by finding points of minor difference and inflating them into deal-breakers.

          Progress is actually achieved by finding points of commonality and working them into agreements through a process of give and take.

          Nice misdirection on the relative seriousness and credibility of the allegations against Biden vs the multitudes against the grab'em'fuhrer. The many independent allegations against Jabba the Drumpf have earned an entire wikipedia page, whereas the single serious allegation against Biden is a messy tangle of credible aspects and redflags.

          The idea that Donny Rotten has rolled out free health care for COVID-19 is a classic bait'n'switch that doesn't appear to have actually happened, but has nevertheless served as useful sucker-bait for the gullible.

          Only someone deeply ignorant or strongly motivated in painting a deeply dishonest false equivalence would write the sentence "Biden is nonchalantly corrupt. Trump is nonchalantly corrupt." The Coppertone Caligula is actively working the levers of power to line his own pockets, his families, and his friends. In that order. In many different grifts. Biden had a son go out freelancing to leverage his last name into a lucrative sinecure, apparently without Biden's knowledge. Many motivated investigators have dug deeply into what Biden's son did, and have yet to turn up evidence of actual misconduct.

          As for the rest of it, if anyone is interested, do the research and dig in to the record to make a fair comparison. Don't rely on glib comments thrown out by randoms on da webz with an axe to grind.

          • Bill

            Andre. Tara Reade's allegations are both serious and credible. I know there are people running around (including some former leading lights of the #metoo movement) contorting themselves into strange and wonderful shapes as they try to dismiss a woman's allegations because they are focused on a guy from "our side" (or whatever).

            I'm not on any side when it comes to corporate stool attendees (or whatever title you might think better describes their position in the world).

            And so I'm not going to cheer lead. And I'm not going to turn a blind eye.

            You have a side (as is obvious from numerous comments), and that's fine. Bat away and field to your heart's content. It's a conscious choice you've made and a really hard place to be in if you believe in consistency.

            • McFlock

              Meanwhile, the US is digging mass graves and protective equipment is being openly dispensed as political favours.

              • adam

                And the Obama led sanctions on Venezuela are going to kill how many?

                How is it the democratic party is not protesting trumps sanctions on Iran which have produced how many mass graves?

                Anyone can be a partisan hack, but the democratic party does not respect working people – so working people don't have to vote for them. The democratic party have to win their vote, full f&*king stop.

              • bill

                Yup. The world walks, chews gum and throws occasional somersaults . Bugger, innit?

                New, covid era sanctions applied to Nicragua, IMF loans to Iran blocked, voters told to get out there and vote (poll station workers have since died)…

              • McFlock

                waa waa US foreign policy sucks and the Dems haven't cried about it.

                That has nothing to do with the incompetence of the current president's covid clusterfuck, and his lickspittles who have rigged the system so people literally have to risk their lives if they want to to vote.

                Damned near any halfway competent leader would have saved more lives of their own citizens than that buffoon. And it's not just the yanks he's endangering, it's everyone else, too. The US has become the world's petrie dish.

                • KJT

                  What do you think is the potential for the USA, to become a reservoir, re-infecting the world, for years?

                  • McFlock

                    Pretty solid for the next couple of years, but relatively low after that. Mostly because anyone leaving it will be under 14 day quarantine in whatever country they arrive until a vaccine is developed, and transit routes will adapt to avoid it. Paris via Buenos Aires, anyone?

                • bill

                  Yup. Much of US foreign policy sucks. And a lot of the domestic policy sucks too. And that's the case no matter which party controls Congress, or who the figurehead occupying the role of President is. It's not a case of the Democrats "not crying about it" – they actively enable much of "it" and in many instances would pursue the same ends if they were in power.

                  (Both Dem and Rep “powers that be” were pushing people out to vote in person in the middle of this pandemic btw)

                  Blaming 'everything' on Trump is seriously myopic and fairly infantile – he and his admin are a natural enough extension of policies pursued or developed by previous Presidents and Admins.

                  That said, I reckon you're probably correct to say that another President and a different Admin could have rolled out a better response to Covid, and that the same might be said on a few other major fronts too. (AGW and nuclear proliferation come to mind)

                  And yes. A country, unlike Sweden say, that’s a major travel hub and source of travel being so woeful in the face of a pandemic is just really bad ongoing news for everywhere.

                  I believe S. Korea is already insisting that every American coming into the country is tested because most of their new cases were tracing back to the US.

                  Meanwhile, Trump and his Admin are on track for another term, and truth be told, the Democratic Party are happy enough with that prospect.

                  • adam

                    Well said bill.

                  • McFlock

                    Not blaming everything of the oaf.

                    But Biden is nowhere near as bad as the current fool. I don't get this obsession with equivalence when one is clearly so much worse than the other, in very real ways to so many people.

                    Guatemala reckons half its people deported from the US have covid. That means the US camps are infecting people. Camps that were expanded and made more inhumane by the current regime. Camps run by people with so little regard for the humans in their care that kids were taken without any plan to identify their parents.

                    Regardless of whether this example is intent or incompetence, it's a pretty spectacular low amongst recent presidencies. Especially as a response to simple undocumented migration.

                    • bill

                      But Biden is nowhere near as bad as the current fool

                      I merely drew up comparisons of the two men in terms of policy and personal attributes where easy comparisons can be made.

                      I forgot about the pathological liar (Trump) and the habitual liar (Biden) – though I may be splitting hairs on that one.

                      ICE detention centres have to be bordering on a crime against humanity – just as the bi-partisan support for the blockade on Venezuela, the sanctions on Iran and the sanctions on Nicaragua are.

                      So what's the story here? Is criticism only to be leveled on issues where Donald Trump can be put squarely in the gun and the Democratic Party can come up with some kind of "an out"?

                      I don't think that approach (if that is the approach) is particularly legitimate or helpful to anyone. It willfully ignores a lot of very bad shit that people, regardless of their political badge, should be put on the hook for.

                      But back to my original list comparing Trump and Biden as people. If it transpires that Biden did in fact rape Tara Reade, what then as far as "best person for the job/lesser of two evils" goes? Or would the idea be to ignore that simply because Biden's not the "pussy grabber" from the other side of the isle?

                    • McFlock

                      Can't be ignored, but what the hell else is a yank voter to do? It's repug or dem. At least pick the one who could probably deal with a pandemic competently.

                      Bitching incessantly about Biden is lobbying incessantly for the oaf. It's that simple. No third party saviour, no write in, no magical epiphany where a third candidate appears from the clouds and puts forward an electable, socialist, anarcho-vegan platform (or whatever the fuck some puritan's utopia of choice might be). It’s a pipe-dream.

                      If it comes down to a complete personality equivalence on whatever planet you might be observing from, pick the dude who might save more lives.

                    • bill

                      By the time of the election, I'd guess the reaction and consequences to Covid will be locked in. In other words "the dude who will save more lives" won't be an option unless some other dude invents the Tardis sometime.

                      I agree it's a shite state of affairs – both for US voters and much of the rest of the world given the global influence, both accidental and by design, that the US has.

                      I don't have a vote in US elections and don't envy anyone there tasked with making a decision.

                      I fully understand where the likes of Kulinski (co-founder of Justice Democrats) is coming from. And I also understand why people would vote for Biden over Trump, but also why many former Obama supporters will opt for Trump again.

                      The reality is that corporate interests have already won. They maintained their grip on the US political system through taking out Sanders, and now people don't really have any worthwhile place left to go.

                      Last time around, many liberals banged on the "lesser of two evils" drum, and the Democratic Party encouraged the 'vote shaming' of people instead of offering policies that might have persuaded them to get on board.

                      As far as approaches go, it didn't turn out too well. I don't think things will be any different this time around, though there's arguably a further dynamic in play – the Democratic Party, in line with basic dynamics at play around UK Labour in 2017 and NZ Labour in 2014, don't actually care whether they win or lose the election; they've already won their battle and will happily hunker down for the next four years.

                    • McFlock

                      Anyone who failed to vote against the current fool deserves to be ashamed.

                      Corporate interests were at the heart of the founding of the republic. Sure, the level of control has ebbed and flowed, but they've always been in charge. No one candidate will change that, which means that anyone who wants to vote for change will have to compromise to some extent.

                      As for covid, "no" and "so"? Yes, come inauguration this wave will be locked in, but covid will still be able to be ameliorated next year. So specifically in relation to covid, who gets elected in November does matter.

                      And even if covid were done and dusted by November, it is just one of many examples where having a slightly less corrupt, venal, stupid, infantile, and petulant president will save lives.

                • adam

                  waa waa US foreign policy sucks.

                  You know Mcflock, sometimes you're a real callus bastard.

                  Odd you then go on to moan that now a petri dish.

                  • McFlock

                    I guess some people are blessed with wells of indignation far deeper than their wells of intelligent thought. There's probably a youtube channel on it, somewhere.

                    • adam

                      So it's intelligent to worry about people dying in the US.

                      But stupid to point out the US is killing people unnecessarily, in the same crisis affecting the US.

                      Your logic does have a waft of racism to it McFlock, I have to say.

                    • McFlock


                      It's stupid to draw an equivalence between leaders who exercise foreign policy to advance their states over others, and leaders who exercise domestic policy to advance their personal business over the people they were elected to serve.

                      Both are bad, but they are fundamentally different. Apples and oranges. Hell, a case can be made that the foreign policy leadership was doing its job.

                      It's also stupid to draw an equivalence between a serial rapist and one guy who assumed consent was given. Both are bad, and there is no excuse for either. But are they equivalent?

                      BTW, that whiff of racism is from the dude who thinks the only difference between US foreign policy vs Venezuela and US domestic policy is ethnicity. For all your bleating about the working classes, you haven't paid much attention to who's been targeted for harrassment and who's worst hit by covid19. He who smelled it dealt it.

                    • adam

                      How about you take responsibility for you callus comment.

                      Too soon…

                    • McFlock


                      planks and motes, and all that.

                    • adam

                      How droll.

                      But not unexpected.

                    • McFlock

                      See? You call me callous, yet then I bring some levity to your day.

        • Gabby

          That all passes for progressive in yankistan.

  16. weka 16

    funnily enough the don't vote crowd often likewise hate it when their own politics are called out.

    I can't find the bit about Sanders in the vid, a time stamp would help.

    • Alice Tectonite 16.1

      But at least they get to remain pure and to blame everyone else, rather than voting for the somewhat less shit option (which might actually make a difference)

      • adam 16.1.1

        The Pure argument – ffs it's was the argument that left is social democrat at the very least. Not some corporate shill think tank.

        But do the lazy, blame the voter and then offer sweet bugger all. If anything at all.

    • bill 16.2

      In terms of the US election, the Democratic Party has only campaigned to preserve corporate dominance. They've no real interest in defeating Trump – it doesn't matter to them. That's why they and their propaganda arms (Washington Post, NYT, MSNBC, CNN…) pushed an empty vessel who can't complete sentences or hold a train of thought.

      They've won. Why pretend there's anything still in play?

      edit – 4:22 is probably the time stamp you want.

      • Gabby 16.2.1

        More likely they're stuck with a jerk who is owed too many favours to be sidelined.

    • adam 16.3

      What politics – that they don't like corruption?

      What politics – that the liberal left is look more and more like apologist shills for corporate greed?

      What politics don't you like of the don't vote democrat crowd weka – as you really unclear.

      • weka 16.3.1

        I was really just responding to your equally vague and grossly generalised comment,

        "Establishment pukes and left liberals hate it when anyone questions there shitfuckery (global economic meltdown anyone) – and if your not towing the 'party' line your the enemy."

        I'd clarify and answer your questions, but my experience in the past is that there is little tolerance from the don't vote crowd when they get challenged politically.

        • adam

          "my experience in the past is that there is little tolerance from the don't vote crowd when they get challenged politically."

          Odd I'd say the same from the liberal left. Most of it being personal attacks, gaslighting and droning on and on about some minutiae.

          • weka

            from what I can see (and as you know I mostly don't get involved now), each side gives as good as it gets. But whatever the liberal left are doing, my point about the don't vote people remains true.

            And so round and round it goes, people who should be natural allies hating on each other, and now the fascists are winning.

            • adam

              people who should be natural allies

              On what planet? No allies there, when they quite happy to keep people oppressed for the sake of an ideology.

              Then you get people saying were being dicks for being pure – it be sad, if it was not so damn disgusting and naive.

              Natural allies are the social democrats, progressives and anarchists. The left liberals have played there hand and shown they'd rather let the corporations win, rather than have a left wing victory.

              So make up your mind, are you going to let the left liberals kill the world or what.

              • joe90

                People are oppressed by the legislature and it's courts.

                Refusing to climb off the progressive purity pony to partner with those who would put an end to the rights dominance of the legislature and it's courts makes the rider guilty by association of oppressing people.


                • weka

                  I think so too, although I'm not sure I would characterise it as purity. But I think we should be working with whatever advantages we have at this point.

                • adam

                  Bullshit, the USA has the most people in prison and the courts put them there.

                  How about you get that trump is not the problem – the system that put him there is.

                  4 years of you and conspiracy theories and now the fubar gaslighting bs of being a purist.

                  All you ever do is "Shoot the Messenger" joe90 – it's because you got NOTHING!

              • weka

                "Natural allies are the social democrats, progressives and anarchists"

                I do not believe that these groups can solve the problems of the world on their own and evidence suggests I am right.

                "Then you get people saying were being dicks for being pure – it be sad, if it was not so damn disgusting and naive."

                You all call each other names, and go round and round in circles. /shrug. Looks like a cul de sac to me.

                "So make up your mind, are you going to let the left liberals kill the world or what."

                I'm ok with you stopping them. Go ahead.

                • adam

                  I do not believe that these groups can solve the problems of the world on their own and evidence suggests I am right.

                  And what evidence would that be – may I ask?

                  • weka

                    If you take the liberals out of the picture for a minute, then the social democrats, progressives and anarchists are a small group (at least in the way you are defining liberals to exclude liberals who are progressive from the real lefties). They have neither the vote to shift the Overton Window, nor the numbers or power to create a movement that will change society in time to get ahead of climate change or rising fascism.

                    By this I don't mean they are unimportant. I think they are absolutely crucial. Necessary but not sufficient on their own.

                    Evidence I guess would be the length of time they've been active relative to the lack of progress on the world's problems.

                    Please understand that what I just wrote isn't saying that liberals are best. They're not. Patently they can't do it on their own either.

                    • adam

                      I'm quite specific on what a left liberal is – have been for a while.

                      But to clear it up, Liberalism is a set of economic ideas which dictate outcomes politically.

                      In your world are the greens now supporting those economic positions of liberalism?

                      Left liberals are in bed with the economy, not reality, nor do they do much to fight tyranny these days. Obama is a good case in point, he extended the Drone War, Rammed up sanctions, increased the power of the executive, do nothing to end the wars, increased US involvement in Africa, did bugger all for the infrastructure and empower the banks and wall street.

                      Like I said weka the left liberals have played their hand, and if you think working with them will stop Authoritarianism – I think you are just not paying, nor want to pay attention to the harm they are doing. We have a trump presidency because they enabled it.

                      trump has more powers than king george the third, and the right did not give him those powers on their own.

                      But, what the hell – no point punching up when people are being fuck tards, you just a splitter and purist if you do.

                    • joe90

                      We have a trump presidency because they enabled it.

                      Of course the repeated convergence is entirely coincidental.


                      Perhaps not entirely, but many conservatives want to be sure we understand that the more extreme and embarrassing rightists wouldn't be what they have become were it not for the relentless contempt heaped on everyone to the right of Bernie Sanders by snooty liberal elitists. And if Trump gets re-elected, well, that'll be liberals' fault too.


                      That's the rancid stew the right has been simmering in for the last decade. And now we're supposed to believe that the increased prominence of neo-Nazis and white supremacists is the fault of liberals being insufficiently polite, that whites gravitated to Trump because liberals were rude to them, and that if Trump gets re-elected the people who voted for him won't be responsible for their own choice but instead the blame will rest at the feet of the left? Please.


                    • weka

                      "I'm quite specific on what a left liberal is – have been for a while"

                      I disagree. Even here you conflate a political system and ideology that doesn't apply nearly as well to NZ as it does to the US, with general handwaving in the direction of more than half the commentariat at TS.

                      "Like I said weka the left liberals have played their hand, and if you think working with them will stop Authoritarianism – I think you are just not paying, nor want to pay attention to the harm they are doing. We have a trump presidency because they enabled it."

                      We don't have a trump presidency, the Americans do. What we have is a centre left government that is giving us the breathing space to make actual and radical change. As I said, I don't see how the SDs, anarchists and progressives can do that on their own, because we just don't have the numbers or the conventional power. To lessen our power at this critical time by writing off whole swathes of the community strikes me as massively hubristic.

                      "But, what the hell – no point punching up when people are being fuck tards, you just a splitter and purist if you do."

                      Personally it's the incessant negativity that I can't stand, but also the political position of not supporting people moving in the right direction seems like a tactical mistake. I suspect this is part of why people accuse you of purity.

                      Not sure why you would object to being called a splitter when you overtly split up groups of people into good and bad lefties.

  17. Treetop 18

    The proposed measures for level 3 when it comes to ECE centres and school opening for under year 10 the government are encouraging children to stay at home. I think the government need to rethink opening ECE centres due to the high level of contact. I assume that ECE includes daycare for under age 3. When it comes to children under age 5 and toddlers/babies, being unwell in this age group can be missed and put down to being tired or how unwell they are, being under estimated.

    I do realise that parents/caregivers need care for their child/children and that making alternative arrangements are difficult. More work needs to be done in this area.

  18. Alice Tectonite 19

    About 300 people at a Queenstown supermarket are being swabbed for sentinel testing to examine whether there has been community transmission in the resort or not.


    Wonder if/when this will be rolled out elsewhere

    • Andre 19.1

      Testing 300 randoms seems a futile gesture when one infection in 10,000 people is already a huge public health problem. The total known extent of our outbreak is only 1 infection in 3500 people, and most of those were identified through connections to previously known infections.

      This is to point out the massive scale-up needed for any efforts like this to produce useful results, not to disparage the whole idea of a programme like this.

      • weka 19.1.1

        "The total known extent of our outbreak is only 1 infection in 3500 people"

        Presumably that's a national figure. Afaik, they're not releasing numbers by town, so we don't know how many cases there are in Queenstown and thus don't know the infection rate.

        I can totally see why they'd want to test randomly in Queenstown, to see if they've missed any of the Hereford cluster, or if there are non-Hereford cases.

  19. observer 20

    You know the couple of contrarian academics who are being promoted as "experts" because they don't think we needed a lockdown?

    This puts it into perspective

    • BArely Here, or There 20.1

      Hey, man, if the Easter Bunny and the Tooth fairy are risking their lives to work through this lockdown, then damn it, I will too.

      • Gabby 20.1.1

        Are you also a mythical creature immune to the infirmities that flesh is heir to? If so, have at it.

    • Incognito 20.2

      I could swear I spotted Tat Loo somewhere along the tweets. Lockdown is playing havoc with my mind.

      BTW, a disagreement between academics makes none of them more or less of an ‘expert’.

      • bill 20.2.1

        a disagreement between academics makes none of them more or less of an ‘expert’.

        Many an academic is a charlatan or a propagandist or a shill. Does that make them less of an "expert"? It certainly makes them not trustworthy.

        And I do wish media would take the time to dig a little and uncover any bias a given "expert" might have. Though…that might mean they look in the mirror and acknowledge their own 😉

        • Incognito

          And then again, many are not. Does that make them more trustworthy? How can we tell?

          Being controversial and finding oneself at the ‘wrong’ side of public or professional opinion does not make one a lesser expert. Even being found factually wrong (!) doesn’t make one a lesser expert.

          It would be naive to think that experts have no agenda or are not biased. But like all (well, most) people, they also have something called personal and professional integrity; it is a spectrum.

          The media are too busy with not drowning and looking for juicy scandals, crispy conspiracies, and cheap & lazy infotainment. They wouldn’t recognise bias if it bit them in the bum 😉

          • bill

            Being controversial or in the minority is not in any way the same thing as being a propagandist, a shill, or a charlatan.

            Being a propagandist, shill, or charlatan can lead you to be in the camp of the (supposedly) uncontroversial and popular.

            Being bias is also normal and not the same thing as having an agenda. Put it this way. Bias can be acknowledged. Agendas are usually quite deliberately hidden.

            Take two experts who disagree and then use your own intelligence, knowledge or common sense to discover which one you lean towards.

            Take two charlatans who disagree… to the public stocks. Every time 🙂

            • Incognito

              Righteo. Getting back to the start of this thread, the six so-called “contrarian academics” are experts in their fields and in their own right. No “promotion” required. No need to put their expertise into scare quotes either. Similar to appealing to authority, questioning or doubting their expertise because of their controversial message is fallacious. At present, it could be that they have been smoking their own dope but it also looks like they may have been suckered into it …

              I suspect that there’s something else that triggered the reaction of those 60 academic colleagues, a more personal reason and/or one borne out of frustration of not having an adequate voice …

              At the end of the day, has this public spat resolved any of the scientific or other questions that we’re facing in order to get out of Level 4?

              • bill

                questioning or doubting their expertise because of their controversial message is fallacious.

                Agree. But if their message is subjected to scrutiny and found wanting, then their claim to expertise comes under question, no?

                And btw. I have no idea who these people are or what they've said. I was merely responding to your idea that disagreement means nought in terms of a persons (quote marked) expert status.

                It can. It depends what the basis of their opinion is and whether it stacks up or holds water. Like I say – there are plenty of recognised experts who are frauds in one way or another.

                • Incognito

                  Well, “expert status” as such hadn’t come up in this thread until now. Since you brought it up, status is more like peer esteem, IMO.

                  This is what I understand/mean by “expert”:

                  Someone who has and demonstrates special or exceptional skill or knowledge in a particular area that is acquired by training, study, and/or practice.

                  I don’t agree that their message nullifies in any way them being experts in their respective fields. As I said, you can be found wrong and still be/remain an expert; it is what you do with this newfound insight that sets experts apart. I don’t follow where the “claim” comes in or from; who’s claiming what and where?

                  We don’t need to go into what they have said about the NZ pandemic response; I’d imagine it’s way too technical for laypeople. Other experts will deal with it, I hope 😉

                  Being a fraud is deliberate, isn’t it? Being an expert and found wrong (about something) doesn’t make you a fraud either; it is what you do next that determines this, IMO.

                  • bill

                    Yes. Being a fraud is deliberate. Think of the number of experts/academics who banged on about fat in our diets. Many were simply wrong (not frauds). But the expert/academic (Weka will probably have his name if you ask) who started the ball rolling was a fraud in the pocket of corporate interests. And many who came after him were too.

                    Or think "big tobacco" and their experts/academics. Or AGW and the smattering of supposed experts/academics who were given traction by media even though they had obvious ties to Koch or whoever/whatever else.

                    And then go back to 20.2.1 and see if you can discern the point of departure I signaled, or the caveat I suggested be applied to your original statement about how a disagreement between academics makes none of them more or less of an ‘expert’.

    • Andre 20.3

      For more perspective on what we've gained from going early and hard, consider the US where the credible experts are mentioning September or 2021 as potential dates for things like going back to school or Uni. Here we're getting hung up over just a few weeks.

  20. Gabby 21

    I assume NZR Chief Executive Mark Robinson will be taking the same 50% cut he's 'looking after' his players with. Anything else would be totally unlike a ceo type.

  21. Peter 22

    Former finance minister Steven Joyce in an interview with Leighton Smith says it's a "pie in the sky" fantasy to suggest New Zealand can eliminate Covid-19 and remaining in lockdown would cause "massive" economic damage.

    First of all, congratulations to Steven Joyce for surviving in a country being so far down a multi-billion hole since the end of 2017.

    Secondly, since schools are out and it's internet learning, let's have an English lesson.

    Collective nouns:

    1 A collection of sheep including some ewes, a ram and a few lambs is called a …………. of sheep.

    2 A whole lot of fish is called a ……….. of fish.

    3 A group of wolves is called a ………. of wolves.

    4 The couple of Leighton Smith and Steven Joyce is called a …….. of arseholes.

    • Gabby 22.1

      4. A quartet of arseholes.

    • joe90 22.2

      4 The couple of Leighton Smith and Steven Joyce is called a …….. of arseholes.

      a McCarthy of arseholes.

    • Forget now 22.3

      4 A bunch of arseholes – as they are not interesting enough to rate their own collective noun. They'll just have to share that with all the other Nats.

    • bill 23.1

      You know that kinda implies Donald would have plowed the ship straight into the berg – meaning the ship would not have sunk. (jist sayin)

      • Macro 23.1.1

        bill, as I am just a simple minded mathematician/logician who happens also to be a retired naval officer, could you please explain to me how ploughing a ship into an iceberg would not make it sink?

        • Barfly

          Grazed the iceberg very long cut in hull breaching multiple watertight compartments all along one side …fatal damage. Head on crash…maybe the frontal damage would have been survivable as less watertight compartments breached..a lot dependent on speed i guess

        • KJT

          Actually Titanic was designed, like most well designed steamships of that time, to hit an iceberg head on, and survive. Even at full speed. Hitting icebergs before the days of ice patrols and radar was sort of, expected.

          A combination of an unfortunate angle and low temperature brittle fracture, of the rivets, peeling the plates back, did her in.

          She stayed afloat, and upright, a lot better than a much more modern passenger ship, Costa Concordia, which hit a rock at almost the same angle.

          • Macro

            Yes that is one theory, but the sad fact is that the bulkheads and water tight compartments supposed to be unbreachable were overwhelmed fairly quickly.

            Also – for passenger comfort there was a huge companionway running the whole length of the ship. The design was intended that up to 4 compartments could be flooded. But they were too insubstantial. The supposed unsinkable sunk. And so it is proving to be in the US as well. Trump has run the country head first into an pandemic, with next to nothing to stop the damage, and he is blaming everyone and everything but himself.

            • bill

              That's an interesting piece, but it's focus is on why the ship sank given the precise impact that occurred.

              Six compartments ripped and filling from a 'broadside' with an iceberg (and all the attendant lifting, tilting and fracturing) says nothing about the scenario for a head on collision.

              How many compartments would have been compromised in that scenario? Two? Three? Four? Theoretically, what 'lifting' and tilting would have occurred with two, three or four crumpled front compartments?

              Anyway. With Trump as captain, the ship would probably have been way down in the South Atlantic circling towards Africa with Trump confidently announcing that New York was just over the horizon. 🙂

            • KJT

              2 hours and 40 minutes to sink. Pretty good for that level of damage.

              There are many much more modern ships that would sink a lot quicker, if they didn't roll over first, with that level of damage.

        • joe90

          Mass and velocity had the last say.

          To be absolutely blunt and perfectly truthful, this whole idea is absurd. Not only would the Titanic have sunk had she hit the iceberg head-on, she would have sunk much more rapidly than she actually did–we’re talking in a matter of minutes, not hours. Imagine for a minute the kinetic energy that is generated by a 55,000 ton ship doing 22 knots when it hits a million ton iceberg being instantaneously transferred to the hull and structure of the ship!

          • KJT

            Rather a simplistic calculation, there.

            From the actual Naval architect who designed the ship. Which is a complex structure, not bits of steel. Analogous to a car with crumple zones.

            "Sometimes it helps to exchange opinions for information contained within the historical record. Edward Wilding was a naval architect employed by Harland & Wolff. In his own words, Wilding was, “one of the people connected with the making of the design.” On Day 19 of the British Inquiry he was questioned at length about the outcome of a head-on impact against the iceberg. Here is his opinion as recorded in the official transcript of the inquiry:


            20266. Perhaps I ought to put this general question to you. The contact with this iceberg was the contact of a body weighing 50,000 tons moving at the rate of 22 knots an hour? –
            Mr. WILDING: Yes.

            20267. I gather to resist such a contact as that you could not build any plates strong enough, as plates?
            Mr. WILDING: It depends, of course, on the severity of the contact. This contact seems to have been a particularly light one.

            20268. Light?
            Mr. WILDING: Yes, light, because we have heard the evidence that lots of people scarcely felt it.

            20269. You mean it did not strike a fair blow?
            Mr. WILDING: If she struck it a fair blow I think we should have heard a great deal more about the severity of it, and probably the ship would have come into harbour if she had struck it a fair blow, instead of going to the bottom.

            20270. You think that?
            MR. WILDING: I am quite sure of it.

            20271. (The Commissioner.) I am rather interested about that. Do you mean to say that if this ship had driven on to the iceberg stem on she would have been saved?
            Mr. WILDING: I am quite sure she would, my Lord. I am afraid she would have killed every firemen down in the firemen’s quarters, but I feel sure the ship would have come in".

            20283. (Mr. Rowlatt.) What you mean is that the ship would have telescoped herself?
            Mr. WILDING: Yes, up against the iceberg.

            20284. And stopped when she telescoped enough?
            Mr. WILDING: Yes, that is what happened in the “Arizona.”

            • McFlock

              Not sure that a 5,000-ton liner at 15kn would fail in the same way as one ten times as big and 1.5 times as fast.

              • KJT

                I.m sure even back then, Naval architects knew how to scale.

                But no one knows for sure how it would have played out, and, at the time, they were trying to blame Murdoch.

                There were other complicating factors, such as high sulphur content steel, more susceptible to brittle fracture.

                We will have to wait until someone with a lot of time on their hands builds a virtual Titanic and computer analyses the collision to be fairly certain.

                However there is enough information to support the idea that Titanic would have survived a head on, afloat.

                In Joe 90's link there is a false initial assumption. The person doing the calculation, didn't allow for, time.

                "Had the Titanic had struck the berg bow-on, the ship would have stopped almost instantly".

                No, it wouldn't have. Ships hitting an immoveable object, such as a concrete and rock wharf, I've seen it happen with one, twice the displacement of Titanic going at a good pace, do not, "stop instantly". They decelerate over several minutes as each section of structure reaches it's elastic limit and crushes.

                • Andre

                  There wasn't much understanding of how cold temperatures significantly decreased toughness and increased fracture susceptibility of some materials at the time the Titanic was designed and built.

                  So according to the best available information and engineering practices at the time, there is indeed a good argument that she should have survived a head-on collision with an iceberg.

                  But I'm not aware of anyone that's tried to model it with up-to-date modelling tools and up-to-date understanding of material behaviour. Maybe someone can put the idea in James Cameron's ear and he might fund an analysis.

                  • KJT

                    We can get an idea from ships that have hit head on, at combined speeds similar to the Titanic, collision.

                    Surprisingly little bow damage to the Arizona. A modern ship would have lost a lot more of the bow.

                    Took a while for the lesson about crack propagation and cold brittleness to sink in. The cause of the demise of some Victory and Liberty ships. Then, in the 70’s the lesson had to be learnt all over again, with high tensile steel, bulk carriers.

                    Though, admittedly with the ship at the bottom of the ocean, it wasn’t until they dived to the ship that we had an idea of the real damage.

                    Even though soldiers and sailors knew about “tin sickness” way back in the Napoleonic wars.

                  • RedLogix

                    In the Canadian Arctic mining project I worked on, the primary crusher was outside in temps between -50 to -30 degC.

                    It was remarkable how massively oversized steel members in the impact zone of the grizzly (essentially the hopper where the raw rock is dumped) would routinely shatter like carrots.

                    • KJT

                      One class of high tensile steel bulk carriers, the ones operating in Europe, broke.

                      The one operating in the Pacific, survived to go to the ship breakers.

              • KJT

                An article about The Guion Line steamer Arizona colliding with an iceberg in Great maritme disasters in history Battleship, Steamer, Titanic, Victorian Era, Sailing Ships, Arizona, Cruise, Witch, Survival

                Arizona. The ship which actually hit an iceberg, and survived.

                • Molly

                  It is wrong that I love it when TS comments go off on a tangent?

                  • KJT

                    Agree. It is when some of the most interesting stuff appears.

                    So, long as we try and keep it for open mike, etc, of course😊

  22. RedBaronCV 24

    I wouldn't be keen on coming out too early if we have businesses working that are relying on social distancing.

    How much can we trust the same lot that didn't think they had to pay any attention to the employment rules to pay attention to the distancing rules. Maybe if there has been any breach of employment law then they can't come out until say level 2.

    • Macro 25.1

      Yeah – Unbelievable 😖

      Meanwhile ambulance and other critical service vehicles are grid locked for 8+ hours.

    • joe90 25.3

      Tea party 2.0

      This is less AstroTurf than it is a spreading poisonous kudzu fed by the toxic sludge that has flowed under the conservative movement for decades.

      “When it’s my time to go, God’s going to call me home,” [Ashley] Smith said. “I think that to live is inherently to take risks. I’m not concerned about this virus any more than I am about the flu.” Smith supports Trump’s recent insinuation that he may forcibly reopen states whose governors continue to support stay-at-home orders, though it’s not clear that Trump actually has the power to do any such thing. “We are not promised a pathogen-free existence,” Smith said. “We do not have a constitutional right to not get a virus.”

      The president* does not have that power. Except in the fevered brain of people like Ms. Smith, who has listened to all the right radio programs, visits all the right websites, and read all the right books. Therefore, she knows that we do not have a constitutional right not to get a virus but, apparently, she has a constitutional right to spread one. This nonsense is coming, and it’s going to be encouraged by the national government, and I don’t know how we avoid it.

      • The Al1en 25.3.1

        Don't know much about usian law, but it would be interesting if there were some law that allowed these folk to be convicted of something that barred them from voting as a consequence.

        Wonder how long it would be before those states that exclude or make it nigh on impossible for ex jailbirds to cast a vote had a quick change of heart?

      • I Feel Love 25.3.2

        "Liquor stores are open … but I can't buy a gun!"

    • joe90 25.4

      Of course the DeVos mob are behind this shit.

      Thousands of demonstrators descended on the state Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, on Wednesday to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's restrictive stay-at-home order, clogging the streets with their cars while scores ignored organizers' pleas to stay inside their vehicles.

      The protest — dubbed "Operation Gridlock" — was organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition and the Michigan Freedom Fund, a DeVos family-linked conservative group. Protesters were encouraged to show up and cause traffic jams, honk and bring signs to display from their cars. Organizers wrote on Facebook: "Do not park and walk — stay in your vehicles!"

  23. Corey Humm 26

    Just a venting rant of no consequence: Did anyone else have a huge issue with the prime minister normalizing Danish social democrat PM Mette Fredrickson?

    Anyone? All I saw was applause and "sisters doing it for themselves"

    Mette is a disgusting politician who wanted to confiscate refugees belongings at the border, openly wanting to treat them similarly vile racist beliefs Mette has (many of them ripped straight from the ideas of hard right nationalists) I can't believe a prime minister who was praised for her compassion towards immigrants and refugees shared that photo. What's next a cuddle with Trump?

    Grrrr. Scandinavian left wing parties are actually quite gross these days and they should look to us rather than kiwi Lefty's looking to them for inspiration.

    Seriously just take a gander at the history of Mette Fredrickson and tell me if she was right wing, would us Lefty's like her? Or would we consider her vile.

  24. observer 28

    Very irresponsible reporting from Newshub (TV3) in their 6 pm bulletin. Saying "you can now … " do various things under Level 3. (link not yet up)

    No, we can't.

    • pat 28.1

      RNZ made the same mistake at times as well

    • observer 28.2

      "Travel restrictions have been eased … swimming and surfing are now allowed …"

      and in a separate report

      "The Government has finally revealed what lies ahead post-COVID-19 lockdown under alert level 3.

      With the guidelines unveiled, Kiwis told Newshub what they miss the most, including one woman who said she's excited to visit her mum, while another said she's just looking forward to "having a coffee in a café" with friends."

      FFS, the guidelines were explained as if to a class of infants. But that was still too much for Newshub to comprehend.

      • KJT 28.2.1

        And the, "reporters" who kept repeating the same question/s even after the answers were patiently explained to them several times.

        Where do they find these people?

        • McFlock

          How much of it is looking for a trip-up to sensationalise, and how much of it is just doing it so the clip can be them asking the question and getting an answer, I wonder?

      • Bazza64 28.2.2

        Yes swimming & surfing are now allowed but you can't slash in the water. They haven't mentioned anything about Number 2's but I suspect possibly considered not best practice with or without a virus pandemic.

    • bill 28.3

      I expect nothing from mainstream media. I guess as business interests that rely on other businesses functioning and spending advertising dollars…..


      The preferred mindset – the one a government might want to encourage – is for people to think of a particular activity and default to a "probably not" in the case of doubt.

      Media asking whether a 30 min drive to the beach is acceptable or not, and if not, what about a 10 min drive, is just arsehole reporters asking to be slammed in the public stocks as far as I'm concerned.

      If only sense was common….

  25. joe90 29

    Friend sent me this.

  26. pat 30

    "After that a lot depends on how attitudes have changed and how businesses have reorganised, The world we saw as normal three months ago is not going to come back ever. We are going to go through a transition period here and then we're going to have something different. It's not yet clear what that will be, but I certainly think it will be unlike what we have seen before."

  27. Forget now 31


    But the borders of that diagram are not nearly fuzzy enough to have much relevance to me. However much I may try to inhabit the growth zone, I still compulsively consume media that hurts me. As my presence here attests.

    Anyway, how can you know what information is going to hurt you before you try it? By which time it has already happened. I long ago gave up expecting to get through any day without being hurt – so on the rare occasion that out occurs, it's a pleasant surprise.

    • Forget now 31.1

      31 was a reply to ("… He fought for justice and other things") Joe90@29

      Out of curiosity, has my bitchiness put my comments into automoderation? Or are my fingers just really clumsy with the codeine for the split tooth?

    • gsays 31.2

      Hi Forget now, "Anyway, how can you know what information is going to hurt you before you try it?"

      One of the ways to tell whether the media is good for you or not is the amount of advertising around it.

      Most media is (was) there to sell ads. To keep the consumer scared or outraged.

      Many moons ago I stopped with newspapers, commercial radio, and most television.

      I had a lot more time for other things and the Bulldust factor in my life diminished significantly.

      Hoskings, talk-hate radio, the Briscoes lady, one sided police pursuit reports, can huff and puff all they like. No skin off my nose.

  28. Peter 32

    Apropos the Michigan news:

    Michigan population 10 million. Coronavirus deaths 1,930

    NZ population 5 million. Coronavirus deaths 9

    Let them have no lockdown or distancing. They obviously know what works best for themselves.

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