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Open mike 16/12/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 16th, 2021 - 116 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

116 comments on “Open mike 16/12/2021 ”

  1. Tricledrown 1

    RNZ this morning govts books the envy of every other country in the world.With a Conservative growth rate of 2 1/2 % and the lowest debt rate of any country with supply constraints stopping a better result

    Bridges and luxon bald face liars saying the govt can't manage the economy ,barking at cars again.

    • vto 1.1

      yep, whenever my nat-supporting mates pipe up about labour being useless economically I always point out to them that the evidence is otherwise. They always go silent (because they have never considered any evidence, only listened to the myth).

      As a business owner I prefer left governments because the economy always improves and I get more sales. I said to said mates the same would happen when this government got in, and it has.

      Conservatives on the other hand always act conservatively and the economy shrinks back from its natural tendency courtesy of that conservatism.

      Most of my mates haven't even considered that the nats are the conservatives. They go silent on this again.

      So many people don't even think about this stuff.. they just repeat the lines they hear…

      National – conservatives and with a record of poorly economic outcome.

      Labour – forward-stepping and with a record of superior economic outcome

      this is the evidence

      it needs shouting to the rooftops – like, really shouting

      • Patricia Bremner 1.1.1

        devil Good "shouting" there VTO

        Progressives grow opportunities through better fiscal management and money supply, which though it does increase inflation also leads to a better tax take and "money go round". People are employed and contributing, so social and environmental concerns start getting addressed.

        Conservatives shrink it all through austerity. That means less tax to do any social or environmental work. Unemployment grows though conservatives become Nelson like looking with their "blind eye" at problems, which becomes "what problems?'

      • Tricledrown 1.1.2

        It's taxes and keeping wages down businesses focus on not turnover and profits

    • dv 1.2

      Another interpretation is that that Luxon, Bridges etc DONT actually know how the economy works.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Victoria University Professor of Strategic Studies Robert Ayson:

    While the Assessment begins with climate change and strategic competition as the top two problem generators, it's the second of these which does most of the work. And "strategic competition" is a euphemism. A one sentence summary of the 36-page public version of the Assessment could easily read: China is threatening New Zealand's interests in the South Pacific.

    That means continuity and change in comparison to the 2018 Strategic Defence Policy Statement of Ardern's first term which also raised a series of concerns about China's behaviour, but focused more specifically on what Beijing was doing in the South China Sea. The first major defence policy publication of the second term brings the strategic competition into New Zealand's immediate region.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/458015/new-zealand-s-defence-assessment-and-its-pacific-future

    Officials want Cabinet Ministers and commentators to stop treating what goes on in the wider region (now commonly called the Indo-Pacific) as a species of intense strategic competition that is seldom encountered in the Pacific. That means some of the NZDF's future operations in the immediate region will not be so different to deployments to conflict zones further afield: "This binary is now being eroded," the writers of the 2021 Assessment argue, "and Defence operations within New Zealand's immediate neighbourhood will increasingly require the use of more sophisticated military capabilities in support of regional partners."

    He doesn't explain what these sophisticated military capabilities are, nor even mention whether or not they are available for using. Typical academic!

    if Labour Ministers nonetheless want New Zealand to play a leading defence role in the Pacific, they will want to improve on the tepid and publicity shy response to the latest Solomon Islands crisis.

    But will they?? Could be the govt's refusal to interpret the crisis to our public is due to perception that it would not be in the interests of the Solomons to do so. And belief that folks here ain't all that interested in the Solomons anyway. Lay low, say nuffin is a traditional strategy (http://mythfolklore.blogspot.com/2014/05/brer-rabbit-wonderful-tar-baby-story.html) which Labour is prudently deploying.

    • Blazer 2.1

      America is extremely jealous of China's rising influence.

      China has the will and the resources to challenge U.S dominance in technology science,and engineering.

      Who else can compete against the U.S behemoths like the FAANG's.

      Companies like Huawei,Ali Baba,Tiktok,Weibo etc…can.

      The belt and road initiative and the scale of China's soft loans from the Pacific to Africa are a source of discontent for the Hawks in the U.S.

      A campaign ,almost a Cold War, to try and demonise and isolate China is in play.

      The usual vassals line up to support the U.S.

      Australia ,the americans BFF is taking a prominent role in criticising Chinese actions in the Sth China Sea.

      The propaganda machine highlights the tennis star controvosy ,the designs of China on Taiwan, Chinas increasing military resources,and the defaults of chinese developers.

      The U.S has abandoned manufacturing over the years and now the world would struggle without the efficiency of the Chinese trading sector.

      The two biggest threats to U.S hegemony are both Communist countries.

      With Afghanistan another flop on the record,the military/industrial interests are onto another moneymaker.

      How easy is it to win over the hearts and minds of the chattering class.

      • Gezza 2.1.1

        All the above is true, certainly, but Chinese officials are now also adopting a much more publicly muscular tone in demanding that critics shut up or they will face PRC retaliatory measures.

        We need to steer a very careful course, being so dependent on them economically.

        So far our Government has managed to tread softly around the belligerence between the US and China. The US certainly hasn't done us any favours in the trade area.

      • RedLogix 2.1.2

        Astonishing how you managed to get almost everything wrong on that little rant. But just two will do:

        The U.S has abandoned manufacturing over the years and now the world would struggle without the efficiency of the Chinese trading sector.

        In reality the US is re-industrialising at a rapid pace, and supply chains are pulling out from a PRC now widely regarded as unreliable as fast as they possibly can.

        The two biggest threats to U.S hegemony are both Communist countries.

        Laughable. Russia has shrunk to a GDP a little larger than Australia and NZ combined and it's population is shrinking even faster. (Recent data suggests it could be even worse than shown there.)

        China has numerous structural and political problems that present an intractable challenge to it's long term stability. Not to mention a terminal demography of it's own. Compare this with the US projection.

        Old assumptions about how the world works are crumbling because the US is now defining it's interests on a far more transactional basis than it did in the past. On current trends there will soon be no US boots on the ground anywhere in the world – short of that needed to man their network of bases and alliances they choose to maintain. Already Putin calculates that if he invades Ukraine the US will not intervene, and the Middle East is on it's own.

        But if you imagine that any of this will make the world safe for Communism I suspect you're in for a disappointment.

        • Blazer 2.1.2.1

          So the U.S are reindustrializing are they?Wonderful,does it rely on Govt stimulus/susidies or reducing wages?

          True that U.S sanctions have reduced GDP in Russia.

          So how many of the 800 plus U.S bases around the world are closing down and when!

          No boots on the ground….when will this occur,20,50 years from now.Patent nonsense.

          Safe from Communism!Where does Capt America change into his tights,with no phone booths around now-when will the world be safe from

          • RedLogix 2.1.2.1.1

            I provided a number of references – all you have is a silly cartoon. About sums it up.

            • Blazer 2.1.2.1.1.1

              The 'silly' cartoon is made by an experienced ex U.S State Dept officer.

              I would think he may have a better understanding of U.S foreign 'policy' than you.

              What part of the 'silly' cartoon,do you have an issue with?

              • RedLogix

                You had your opportunity to make a substantive reply and you had nothing.

                All it will say is that the US like all great powers can be very ruthless. I’ve pointed this out many times before. But that does not makes it’s opponents lilly-white – as you obviously pretend they are.

                • Blazer

                  Not at all.Never thought any country was 'lily white'…but I recognise double standards and hypocrisy when I see it.

                  Just labelling something as 'silly' is as weak as someones response to a Jordan Peterson video put up recently…Jordan's a 'twit'.

                  Imo your response to my initial post illustrated that you'had nothing'.

                  • Byd0nz

                    Quite right Blazer, but trying to get through to the red neck of logic is useless, his imbedded faith will not allow him to see anything good in anything that mentions communism.

            • Tricledrown 2.1.2.1.1.2

              Well given the US has been embarrassed in every conflict since the Vietnam War I think the cartoon is appropriate.

              China is developing its technology at a much faster rate than the US.

              Also manufacturing capability wins wars China has a much larger capability.especially in modern technology hence Biden spending billions on chip manufacturing capability so the US is not reliant on 84% imports mostly from China.

              • Gezza

                From China? Are you sure? Taiwan's coming up in google as the world's largest computer chip manufacturer:

                Taiwan is the country that produces the most number of chips globally, thanks to TSMC – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which controls 51% of the global chip market.

      • Tricledrown 2.1.3

        Because China has been building infrastructure and developing poor countries with cheap loans.

        The US is having to match Chinese expansionist with similar initiatives.

        So developing countries are winning.

    • Subliminal 2.2

      I think we gave up on good political satire a while back which is why John Clarke left these shores. Even without him, Aus still does good satire. Heres Australia's Defence Policy Explained. It could be that though Scotty hasn't got the memo, Ardern has seen it and is acting on it by doing a Brer fox even though shes not responsible for the tar baby and is unlikely to roll on the ground laughing

      • Koff 2.2.1

        Yep….Juice Media, The Chaser, The Shovel…all good Aussie political satire. haven't found anything quite like an Australian equivalent of the Standard, though (not suggesting that most of posters here are satirical!).

        • RedLogix 2.2.1.1

          haven't found anything quite like an Australian equivalent of the Standard,

          Probably because the prospect of moderating a pack of rabid Aussies all sledging each other flat out would make any sane person's blood run cold. devil

          • adam 2.2.1.1.1

            Try discord heaps of hard out commentary. Your right about the sledging, but it's fun.

            My fav of the last couple of weeks, reminding the Aussies of all the crying into the camera of late on losing the captaincy. Or more bluntly, if you wanna send dick pix you get whats coming to ya.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Matt McCarten has written a One Union Letter to the Speaker:

    Kia Ora Trevor,

    Rafael Gonzalez-Montero We have tried to resolve this matter confidentially for months. I don’t know what’s wrong with Rafael… two young staffers got shafted after he promised he would protect them. Rafael has never contested the facts.

    We offered him a confidential mediation that would be binding on everyone, so we can all move on. It was simple, fair and easy. But his lawyer got in his ear and he refused. I guess lawyers don’t get paid if we settle matters.

    As you can appreciate this is a matter that we have to pursue. The victim and the witness were treated abysmally by Rafael. I don’t think it was deliberate. Just careless and incompetent. Frankly I don’t know what’s worse… From the very beginning, when I first wrote to Rafael in August, he won’t answer any questions.

    But Matt, why would you expect a public service manager to take responsibility for their misbehaviour?? They know the privilege system protects them.

    Also tell Michael Quigg writing me threatening letters doesn’t work and is counterproductive. Bullying this worker and me kind of reinforces our argument that parliament is a bully’s cesspool.

    Bullying works better if you use a lawyer to do it too rather than just diy. Rafael must realise that one tough guy ain't enough to victimise his employees. He needs to ramp things up into some kind of public shit-fight. High Noon would be good.

    Matt asks Mallard to help resolve things instead:

    your people caused this injustice and refuse to take responsibility. Now I have to do their bloody job. Fucking hopeless.

    Parliamentary Services may not be hopeless. Wouldn't surprise me if a few of them are hoping for a change. Can the duck quack loudly enough?

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2021/12/15/one-union-letter-to-mallard/

    • Gezza 3.1

      Looks like Matt's making a start on his threat in a podcast earlier this week to publicly expose the bullies in Parliament. (I posted a link a day or two ago.)

      He went on at some length about the tactic of employers and MPs sending lawyers letters to shut complainants up because they can't afford to litigate.

      If he gets no joy from Speaker Trev, maybe we can expect him to start naming names?

      He said in his podcast that bullying of powerless Parliamentary Services staff by certain MPs has been rampant for decades and he's going to do something about it.

      • Treetop 3.1.1

        For decades whoever is in government fails to grasp that it is usually the cover up which is worse than the original mistreatment of the person. The process to get the grievance exposed requires the person making the complaint to have the resources and all the documentation so the issue does not drag on for months, years or decades.

        I have followed the plight of the children/youth who had their lives ripped apart when in so called welfare, religious or psychiatric care. I am pleased that what happened has been exposed.

        Crown Law was the biggest obstacle due to having an endless supply of money, delay tactics, with holding information to squash children and youth. There are still historical cases involving the government which need addressing.

  4. observer 5

    Tweet of the day:

  5. Sacha 6

    Leading feminist leaves us.

    • Molly 6.1

      Thanks for posting. She did a lot of work on intersectionalism, and I'd come across a couple of clips recently of her talking to Laverne Cox, which may be of interest.

      So, I searched and found the full discussion (haven't watched).

      There's a series with bell hooks talking to others, one with Gloria Steinem, so I'll post links tp both. I'm sure that if people are interested they can find the rest.

    • swordfish 6.2

      .

      One of Wokedom's leading dogmatists … has much to answer for.

      Along with Crenshaw & a handful of others, she applied uber-relativist 1960s French Post-Modernism, divorced from truth & reality, to a crude, radical Identity Politics, seeking to destroy the main precepts of both Social Democracy and, more broadly, Liberal Democracy.

      Subsequently adopted by a bloated financially-privileged narcissistic White ID Politics Cadre … then increasingly imposed on Society.

      • Molly 6.2.1

        Philosophers, writers, artists, commentators etc all contribute to the public discourse by writing or articulating their perspective.

        It doesn't mean we have to accept all, or indeed any, of their views. And we also have to be aware that sometimes those views can be mispresented by others.

        There are many examples of bell hooks taking time to explain, or willing to be contested on her approach.

        I think that is exactly the kind of robust debate we should be aiming for.

  6. Gezza 7

    How many times does this make it that offenders have stolen police cars in the last couple of years? Do they leave the keys in the ignition – or do modern day electronic start ignitions make it easier for anybody to get in, start one up & drive away in it?

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/police-car-stolen-in-crash-aftermath-on-state-highway-38-in-kaingaroa-forest/JCRMM4UXFUEUVPS2MRSSOY6SMA/

  7. Dennis Frank 8

    Trev officially thanks Tova in parliament:

    House Speaker Trevor Mallard has given a rare tribute to a journalist – Newshub's outgoing political editor Tova O'Brien.

    "She decided to do the right thing and I want to thank her for doing that."

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2021/12/house-speaker-trevor-mallard-s-tribute-to-tova-o-brien.html

    • Jimmy 8.1

      It wouldn't surprise me to see Tova as a Labour party list MP in a few years.

      • Pete 8.1.1

        How high up the list would she have to be to get in given there will be those who got in this time as electorate MPs who will miss out next time?

        • Jimmy 8.1.1.1

          Not as high as Tamati Coffey but above the bottom 15 that the majority of, aren't very well known.

      • Sacha 8.1.2

        Those deep relationships she has built with Nat caucus leakers should come in handy. Oh, wait..

        • Jimmy 8.1.2.1

          JLR has gone now.

          • observer 8.1.2.1.1

            He had gone before Muller was leader. The leaks continued. Then Collins was leader. The leaks increased.

            There should be a leak-lull now, at least until the New Year. Then Luxon has to make some decisions, dump some policies, and the tap will be turned back on.

      • lprent 8.1.3

        I have no idea why you’d think that. Probably just an offhand idiotic comment that takes absolutely no cognisance of history. It is your usual comment style.

        Offhand, I can only think of one journo (and that is a stretch because he was more of a presenter) becoming a MP for Labour. That is over the 4 decades I have been looking at Labour. That was Tamati Coffey. But he was really the exception.

        There have been a few in National. One of the Smiths comes to mind. But that was decades ago.

        Mostly people out of the journo and media world get involved in national politics by either training politicians to not look like fools in front of the camera, work on politicians staffs as press flacks, or on retirement go to become local body politicians.

        Surely even you know this?

        • Craig H 8.1.3.1

          Kris Faafoi was a broadcaster and journalist before becoming Phil Goff's press secretary and then MP in 2010. Still, only 2 in however long doesn’t suggest Labour as a natural home for journalists.

    • JanM 8.2

      What is the story he is referring to do you think?

  8. RedLogix 9

    An update on Omicron from SA:

    • Bill 9.1

      Essentially then, another reasoned proposition alongside the observed reality, as to why there will be no huge spike in hospital admissions and/or deaths in the UK, US and Europe. And yet politicians and supposed public health officials there are playing their fear cards again, and legacy media are running with what they're told to run with again and banging on about lock-downs and third injections and the sky falling in.

      Is NZ going to cut the nonsense, dump the discriminatory traffic light and mandate bullshit and open the international border?

      No. Like the Russia Hoax, the Covid narrative will run…and run…and run.

      Covid responses are about politics, not health.

      • RedLogix 9.1.1

        Yes – the next month or so will tell us which govts are going to put public health ahead their perceived political advantage.

        • Bill 9.1.1.1

          I'll pick….none.

          In terms of public health response, governments have dug a hole for themselves with the "fear monkey" messaging of the past few years.

          But since the primary incentive for government actions has been political, and since the political objectives required that a particular health narrative was spun and then bolstered – they're stuck. Or rather, we're going to continue being pushed down a particular track unless or until we reject the "fear monkey" narrative that's driving levels of compliance across society that we're all going to come to regret.

    • Molly 9.2

      Article for this video can be found here. Deep data dive: is Omicron the end of the pandemic?

      Dr Campbell's video up as well including links to data. He writes all the extrapolated facts in the description for the readers or time-constrained.

      • Bill 9.2.1

        Notice, that in stark contrast to the head of the South African Medical Association who has been reporting Omicron is mild infection, the line from Professor Shabir Madhi (a vaccinologist) …is that Omicron probably isn't less severe than Delta and that milder disease is only down to the effects of previous infection and vaccines.

        I'm thinking that's questionable, because if that's the case, then why wasn't a similar pattern of decreasing hospitalisations and deaths observed in the case of Delta infections/re-infections?

        Maybe the Professor Shabir Madhi has skin in the game?

      • weka 9.2.2

        Dr Campbell's video up as well including links to data. He writes all the extrapolated facts in the description for the readers or time-constrained.

        can't make sense of his shorthand without watching the video.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 9.3

      A(nother) talk about “the end of the pandemic“! If "it's over" then it's about time, imho.

      Mind you, the number of current COVID-19 patients has never been higher, having just passed 22,000,000, while the number people dying daily from COVID chugs along at a remarkably stable and tragic 7,000, give or take.

      It's interesting that, for all our scientific understanding and technical progress, here we have someone with a PhD in engineering who is suggesting that relying on Homo sapiens' immune systems is at least as good as, if not a better bet than relying on medical interventions to save lives during this pandemic.

      We have been around for millions of years, and, ah, we should have respect for our immune systems – it didn't come out of nowhere, ah, y-you know, and we have been through many pandemics in the past before.

      So sure, modern technology could potentially ss-save, save lives, but you know the slogan that the vaccine is the only way out of it, is is not correct – you know, how did we get through it before modern medicine. Ah, and yeah, so this is a natural course and we have evolved as a species to beat viruses in this way.

      No doubt that's correct – 'we' could indeed survive the current pandemic "as a species" without recourse to modern medicine. Once this pandemic is over, our scientific and medical communities will be in a better position to evaluate how many lives were saved by vaccinating against Covid-19, and whether there were better options (maybe they will even be able to learn a thing or two from little old NZ). For example, maybe 'we' could have designed a more transmissible and less virulent variant and deliberately seeded it globally. But be careful what you wish for…

      What We Can Learn from the 1918 Flu Pandemic as the Omicron Variant Spreads [11 December 2021]

      The hope is, that if the pandemic doesn’t go away, we will get new variants that are highly contagious but don’t produce much of a clinical illness,” said Armitage.

      And between those mutations, less virulent strains, natural immunity, and vaccine-induced immunity, we’ll eventually get out of this.

      Whether that is with Omicron or new variants we have yet to meet remains unclear.

      We’d all like it to be sooner rather than later, of course,” Armitage said.

  9. Pete 10

    Brian Tamaki's election campaign continues:

    "A crowd of hundreds has amassed at Wellington’s Civic Square ahead of a protest organised by Brian Tamaki’s Freedom & Rights Coalition in central Wellington today.

    Tamaki estimated up to 50,000 people would be at the protest but those there believe the number was closer to 1000 by 10.50am at Civic Square, when Parliament grounds remained virtually empty."

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/127273863/crowd-gathers-before-protest-to-parliament-against-vaccine-mandates

    In May 2019 at the announcement about the formation of the Coalition New Zealand Party (changed to Vision New Zealand) Tamaki promised the party would be a "vehicle" for the "silent majority" to express their beliefs.

    "Our Kiwi way of life is in danger, our freedom, our values, our cultures, as a people, as we knew it, as New Zealanders living here, has been in danger because of the harmful policies that have been coming from this Government," he told reporters.

    He said he had yet to decide if he will stand for a seat but would support his wife leading a party that he said would reflect "politics with teeth".

    It's exactly the same stuff he's been saying in recent months. instead of the little sprint they had to the election last time, he's on the long run up.

    In 2020 out of 2,886,420 votes cast they got 4,237. It's likely they'll double their vote in 2023. To get a list seat? He'll have to

    Will he stand as a candidate? No. Why? Because he couldn't stand to be seen as a loser. "In 2004, Tamaki predicted the Destiny Church would be "ruling the nation" before its tenth anniversary in 2008." (wiki)

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/05/brian-and-hannah-tamaki-to-lead-new-destiny-church-political-party.html

    • tc 10.1

      Brian Tamaki is a legend in his own lunchtime living in the destiny bubble.

      Change a consonant or 2 and it's the density church.

    • observer 10.2

      The funniest thing about this is the organisers genuinely believed that MPs would be in the House today, made their plans weeks ago, and their followers simply followed without questioning (or even Googling).

      And they call the rest of us sheep.

    • Gezza 10.3

      Must admit, this one made me grin…

    • Gezza 10.4

      But this one didn't …

  10. Tricledrown 11

    With a criminal conviction he won't be able to run.

    • Sabine 11.1

      His wife ran last time. He never did.

    • Ross 11.2

      Peter Fraser went to prison in 1916 and ended up becoming prime minister

      https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9184686/The-courage-of-their-convictions

      • Dennis Frank 11.2.1

        That suggests Labour are so principled that they're willing to turn criminals into MPs in their own party. However it is tradition that one swallow don't make a summer.

        To establish a tradition of rehabilitating criminals in this manner, they need more than one. A sequence would suffice.

        To make this happen, Labour ought to organise a team of recruiters to hang out with the gangs on checkpoints this summer. An ideal opportunity! devil

      • gsays 11.2.2

        I am reading John A. Lee's Simple On A Soapbox. Labour have just been re-elected in 1938. Savage, Nash and Fraser are being criticised for objecting to social policies.

        The Old Man (Savage), resisted increasing the super and lowering the age from 65 to 60. Ironically he was hailed and received the credit for doing so from the adulating crowds.

        Of course, this is just Lee's reckons. He has a lovely turn of phrase. He describes Nash (finance minister), as 'a codlin moth that would starve if it didn't own the apple it was on.'

    • joe90 11.3

      AFAIK only if the offence is punishable by 2 or more years imprisonment.

    • Craig H 11.4

      The only things that stops people being a candidate are being a Returning Officer or on the Electoral Commission, not being a citizen or being disqualified as a voter. Criminal convictions only affect that if they are for corrupt practices as defined by the Electoral Act.

      An MP is automatically removed as an MP if they are convicted of an offence with a possible sentence of at least 2 years' imprisonment, but if they are not an MP at the time, it does not disqualify them from standing. Likewise someone in prison for more than 3 years can't stand while they are in prison as they can't be registered to vote either, but once they are out, are free to stand (if they can find people willing to nominate them).

  11. Sabine 12

    oh boy, the future will be bright n rosy. Surely.

    https://theintercept.com/2021/12/13/brinc-startup-taser-drones-migrants/

    The patent application, for “Drone Implemented Border Patrol,” states: “If a person is detected, an onboard facial recognition algorithm will attempt to identify the person. … In one embodiment, the facial recognition algorithm works by comparing captured facial features with the U.S. Department of State’s facial recognition database.”

    The patent specifies that the onboard stun gun is a Taser X26, a powerful, discontinued electroshock weapon associated with “higher cardiac risk than other models,” according to a 2017 Reuters investigation. But a stun gun was only one of many possible options. Other potential anti-migrant armaments described in the patent include pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets, rubber buckshot, plastic bullets, beanbag rounds, sponge grenades, an “electromagnetic weapon, laser weapon, microwave weapon, particle beam weapon, sonic weapon and/or plasma weapon,” along with “a sonic approach to incapacitate a target.”

    • Dennis Frank 12.1

      Obviously the migrants will have to wear Trump masks in future. You can imagine the border guards watching the screens: "Hey, there goes Trump again! Boy, whatta dude! Sure does get around."

  12. weka 13

    The internet does love Keanu Reeves.

  13. weka 14

    Other perspectives on Omicron. I'd still vote for the precautionary principle.

    This from researcher Eric Topol (11/12/21)

  14. Gezza 15

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/127297946/west-coast-driving-instructor-admits-falsifying-licences-for-gang-members

    According to the police summary of facts, Kalinowski’s corrupt business practices resulted in at least 180 incidents of people being illegitimately issued various classes of motorcycle licences.

    “None of these people sat the required practical assessment to show they have the necessary skills to safely operate a motorcycle and interact with other road users,” the summary said.

    The offending began in 2018 and increased “exponentially” from 2020 until he was arrested in June 2021.

    Police said Kalinowski made more than $50,000 from his corruption. Most of his customers were gang members of established organised criminal groups including the Hells Angels, King Cobras, Mongrel Mob, Head Hunters and Black Power.

    I wonder how many of these gang bikies the police are stopping to check their licences now?

    • Robert Guyton 15.1

      You reckon they're crap riders?

    • mac1 15.2

      When we look at dishonesty in our society, do we look past the bikers to the people using forged vaccination certificates? And then beyond that to those without current vehicle registrations? And then to the drug users, the scammers, the letter box pilferers? And then beyond them to those collecting benefits etc unentitledly?

      Do we look at the speedsters, the drunk drivers?

      Then do we look at those rorting the taxation system?

      And then do we ask, how many of us are there left?

  15. Dennis Frank 16

    In 2020, 34 percent of Republicans and independents who lean to the right surveyed by Pew Research Center agreed that it was "probably" or "definitely true" that powerful people intentionally planned the COVID-19 outbreak. Eighteen percent of Democrats and left-leaners agreed, too.

    Jung once wrote that the demise of society wouldn't be a physical threat, but instead mass delusion — a collective psychosis of sorts… Indeed, Jung himself warned that modern society was prone to collapse due to a pandemic of "delusional ideas."

    "Greater than all physical dangers are the tremendous effects of delusional ideas, which are yet denied all reality by our world-blinded consciousness," Jung wrote. "Our much vaunted reason and our boundlessly overestimated will are sometimes utterly powerless in the face of 'unreal' thoughts." Notably, Jung believed that the United States was particularly prone to society-breaking delusions.

    National identity is primarily based on the nation state, but there's always a substantial component of mythos which folks share. Symbolism & icons are often a focus for that. Origin myths are the most potent form. Any collective belief can become an element of mythos when it percolates down the generations.

    Cultural theorists often describe the history of human civilization as one of a transition between different central guiding myths. In the Western world, Christianity undergirded everyday existence and society for over a thousand years. After the Renaissance, the central guiding myth became a belief in rationalism; then, in modernity, a belief that technology might improve the lot of all humans.

    Though the phrase is often reviled, the postmodern era — which, roughly, began in the 1960s or 1970s depending on who you ask — merely means the cultural transition into an epoch into which there were no longer any fundamental guiding myths that unified human societies and drove progress. Such an era is, by its nature, more fractured socially; two humans plucked at random from a postmodern epoch might find themselves believing wildly different things about human society, progress and morality, with little in common.

    Competing groups with different belief systems may seem nothing new, but if the overall US social matrix is disintegrating the competition becoming shrill and incoherent could be an indicator of the onset of mass psychosis as pandemic…

    https://www.salon.com/2021/12/14/is-america-experiencing-mass-psychosis/

  16. Gezza 17

    The first electric ferry in the southern hemisphere is soon to hit the seas in Wellington. Ika Rere – it means 'flying fish' – will join the East by West ferry fleet, as part of the return service from Wellington to Eastbourne.

    East by West managing director Jeremy Ward decided to bring electric passenger ferries to New Zealand after seeing them in action in fiords of Norway.

    In 2018, he set up the Wellington Electric Boat Building Company – a subsidiary of East by West – with boatbuilder Fraser Foote.

    Not only did the pair bring the electric ferry to Wellington, they've helped bring boat building back to the capital – 20 years after it fizzled out, and they hope to keep building electric ferries from their Lower Hutt base.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018824634/ika-rere-the-electric-ferry-heading-for-wellington-s-harbour

    Cool. yes smiley

    • Dennis Frank 17.1

      Excellent! Seems like proven tech so no teething problems or design-tweaking.

      The batteries take a couple of hours to charge, Foote says. There is a charger in Eastbourne and one will be built at Queens Wharf.

      They have devised a system to keep the batteries cool and operating optimally on board, he says, and there is no diesel backup on board. “If there is a problem with one side of the boat, there's a computer system that enables us to shut the boat down safely on one side. So, being a catamaran with two propellers, all you do is just go to the shore using one propeller. “

      “A normal diesel boat will do about 15,000 to 20,000 hours before you have to do a major rebuild on the motor, our boat does 50,000 hours and you change one bearing and there's nothing more to do".

      • Gezza 17.1.1

        Sounds good. Hopefully Wellington’s leading the way. Do you know of any other Kiwiland harbour ferries that are all-electric?

        Welly’s probably lucky that the harbour is comparatively small so the ferry doesn’t have a particularly long haul between Eastbourne & Queen’s Wharf.

        • Dennis Frank 17.1.1.1

          Do you know of any other Kiwiland harbour ferries that are all-electric?

          Haven't heard of any. I suspect Wellington can stake a claim to being most progressive city in the nation as soon as the system is up & running!

          Wonder how fast the Aucks will figure that out?? Then copy…

          • Gezza 17.1.1.1.1

            Great that they’ve set up a boat building company as well. There are a few car ferries up North (eg Russell, The Hokianga harbour) that might be interested.

            Auckland will possibly want to build its own.

  17. weka 18

    saying the heresy out loud

    • Shanreagh 18.1

      Or without:

      large scale imported stock food

      and

      heavy doses of fertiliser

      and

      special facilities to manage feedlot stock management from runoff etc

      and

      and

      Our country is rife with 'farmers' squeezing productivity out of country that is not designed for it – like someone trying to fit into shoes that are too small.

  18. tc 19

    Crikey corruption watch from across the ditch. Murdoch family insider gets to chair the ACCC for 5 years.

    Gina Cass-Gottlieb was lachlans lawyer, director of Murdoch's family trust so she now gets to hold sway over transactions that impact Murdoch's tv, newspaper and real estate websites.

    She could be great, samuels was despite initial concerns but crikey those optics aren't good.

  19. Gezza 20

    Leaders hold virtual summit as Putin declares Russia-China relations ‘a proper example of interstate cooperation’.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, have held a video meeting, as friction persists in both countries’ relations with the West.

    In their opening remarks at the virtual summit on Wednesday, Putin and Xi hailed relations between Russia and China, with the Russian leader declaring them “a proper example of interstate cooperation in the 21st century”.

    “A new model of cooperation has been formed between our countries, based among other things on such principles as not interfering in internal affairs [of each other], respect for each other’s interests, determination to turn the shared border into a belt of eternal peace and good neighbourliness,” Putin said.

    Xi said that the Russian president “strongly supported China’s efforts to protect key national interests and firmly opposed attempts to drive a wedge between our countries.”

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/12/15/russia-putin-china-xi-to-hold-talks-amid-tensions-with-west

    It’s a difficult issue for the West, this thing China & Russia have about not criticising each other – or other countries – over what they say are solely their own internal affairs. The major western powers – & NZ – will criticise their internal policies or actions.

    But the US & we all seem to be strangely silent about some repressive countries like, say, Saudi Arabia. Double standards are the pits. They cut you off from the moral high ground at the knees.

    • Stuart Munro 20.1

      The fact is we're not very outspoken about internal Russian or Chinese repression either.

      No condemnation of the Uyghur genocide as such, nor of the Chechen genocide. That's Goffian Weak Sauce™ foreign policy.

      Our silence has emboldened these scoundrels who, now they are partners in crime, propose to seize weak adjacent territories whose citizens would vote that they not do so.

      • Gezza 20.1.1

        Interesting factoid: The Taliban announced that one of the IS suicide bombers that killed many people in Kabul notblong after they took over was a Uyghur.

        The PRC of course claim the measures they have taken in Xinjiang province are to deal with a significant terrorism problem.

        • Stuart Munro 20.1.1.1

          It's a tricky matter – but the Russians killed about half the population of Chechenya, and dislocated many of the survivors to Ingushetia. Should these people become pacifists then? It will be hard to persuade the rising generation of young men of that. I expect some similar logic applies to the Uyghurs, though the creation of the Mujahideen complicates such calculations.

      • Blazer 20.1.2

        Whats voting got to do with anything….military coups in Thailand and Fiji,barely raised an…eyebrow.

        • Stuart Munro 20.1.2.1

          Military coups may in some instances be justified – though Thailand and Fiji are very different instances. NZ did not choose wisely in respect of Fiji, in part due to the murders.

          But, voting, the democratic mandate, is a vehicle by which regimes can claim a degree of legitimacy.

          After all, Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses.

          • Blazer 20.1.2.1.1

            Military coups are…always 'justified.'

            Burma is another case study.Rohingas.

            Genocide-Armenians.-Kurds.

            No one cares what NZ has to say.

            • Bill 20.1.2.1.1.1

              Where's Burma? You mean Myanmar? The country that had a circus of foreign puppets as a government? The country where the military, who constituted around 50% of the legitimate government called time on the farce of foreign control?

              You do know that a swathe of SE Asia is being heavily messed with by the US in ways that are on an entirely different plain to anything that Russia was meant to be engaged in with the whole Russia Hoax stuff, right?

              The ludicrous farce of Trump somehow being a Russian puppet was the reality (with receipts) for Myanmar and Aung San Suu Kyi (and her inner circle) of Washington puppets.

              And yet somehow, all the people who frothed over Trump/Putin reckon it's not legitimate for a country to claim itself back from foreign control? pfft

            • Stuart Munro 20.1.2.1.1.2

              The coup and the Rohinga genocide are not the same thing. Separate crimes requiring separate defenses.

              No one cares what NZ has to say.

              Communist and former communist states are particularly sensitive to the propaganda effect of some kinds of official responses. Had NZ denounced either event, the dodgy regimes concerned would have been mightily miffed. Other civilised countries would have given the matter more thought, and some of the more enlightened ones would likely have added their voices.

      • adam 20.1.3

        Not to burst your bubble or anything Stuart Munro, but how do you have a genocide of the Uyghur, when their population keeps growing?

        I would have though genocide implies the killing of people, so populations would go down would they not?

        • Stuart Munro 20.1.3.1

          Genocide can not only be killing, but also the obliteration of whole cultures.

          There is example evidence of erasure of Uyghurs.

          • adam 20.1.3.1.1

            You did not say cultural genocide, you said genocide.

            That said, watering down the definition of genocide is a road I don't want to walk down. It really does undercut what happened in the Armenian, Safo, Romani, East Timor, Rwandan, Bosnian, Jewish, and Cambodian genocides.

            So I'm not buying into the media saying there is a genocide happening to the the Uygur. First of all, no bodies and secondly where is the proof that their culture is being crushed? Your link was rather lite on any proof, a lot of emotional manipulation and supposition, sure, but cold hard proof, not really. It's why I called you on the dead bodies, and the cop out of cultural genocide is a weak response at best.

            • Stuart Munro 20.1.3.1.1.1

              Yeah – you didn't really read the links. Scepticism is fine, uninformed scepticism not so much.

              intent to "destroy in whole or in part" a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. "All five criteria of genocide are evidenced as taking place in Xinjiang," she said. Ms Ghani said detainees were subject to "brutal torture methods, including beatings with metal prods, electric shocks and whips".

              From the UK declaration on the Uyghur genocide in my link.

              • adam

                Love the quote you published to prove my point. Low on facts, heavy on emotional manipulation and way off the mark where genocide is concerned. It's like screw all the people in the past who were murdered as part of a actually genocide, we have propaganda we want to spin.

                As it's not going to sink in with you, lets just stop ah.

      • Bill 20.1.4

        There is not and never was a Uygur genocide, neither actual nor cultural.

        There was a separatist movement slaughtering people (including Muslims) in Xinjjang, who were jihadists sunk in the ideology of Saudi Arabia's Wahhabism.

        They fucked off to chop heads in Syria. They are still there. And also in Afghanistan.

        And they're funded and promoted by the the US State Department through their National Endowment for Democracy.

        You want to see genocide in Xinjiang? Then wait for the day they ever manage to re-enter the region. Chances are they wont be able to for two reasons. Firstly, the Chinese government invested in a shitload of economic development and infrastructure in the region and secondly, they put in place a surveillance framework that essentially means they know if you so much as scratch your arse.

        • Stuart Munro 20.1.4.1

          There are four rather bold assertions there, scattered like faux pearls from a string which could not sustain them.

          I wonder if you can support any of them – I'll excuse you the first – one cannot prove a negative.

  20. observer 21

    I really hope Stuart Nash said to Hosking: "We won, you lost, drink that." (Michael Cullen RIP).

    Nash bet on 90% vaccinated, so Hosking has to pay up

  21. "determination to turn the shared border into a belt of eternal peace and good neighbourliness,” Putin said."

    Despite the history of unequal treaties.

    "The treaty also ceded parts of Outer Manchuria to the Russian Empire. It granted Russia the right to the Ussuri krai, a part of the modern day Primorye, the territory that corresponded with the ancient Manchu province of East Tartary. See Treaty of Aigun (1858), Treaty of Nerchinsk (1689) "

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

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