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Open mike 17/01/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 17th, 2021 - 91 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

91 comments on “Open mike 17/01/2021 ”

  1. Sacha 1

    Really well-explained. Click mine then radhika’s tweet to read the thread of them:

    • bwaghorn 1.1

      They need to expand the phone bluetooth app so all visits to shops are recorded automatically.

      • Sacha 1.1.1

        Already considered. They certainly need to do something different.

        • Bearded Git

          Agreed Sacha….I know I should be scanning but while there are no community cases I am as lazy as most people and don't bother.

          I think scanning should be compulsory in law….impossible to police but it might make more people do it.

          [Removed the same “S” from user name again. Please pay more attention next time.]

          • Incognito

            [Removed the same “S” from user name again. Please pay more attention next time.]

    • Ad 1.2

      In the remaining weeks of January, every employee and manager need to be talking about how to work from home in 2021, so we can prepare better for when the next wave hits us here.

    • Sanctuary 1.3

      Despite a bored media and twitterati talking up a storm, nothing substantive has changed since before Xmas.

      The only thing left is a complete border closure, but Ardern's leadership style since this virus began indicates she is not going to initiate that without a good reason & absolute certainty the public is behind it.

      A complete border closure & big MIQ changes will only be accepted by the wider public if there another community outbreak that requires a lockdown. Ardern has been careful to not to try and lead public opinion on more restrictions on personal freedoms and human rights, but rather she likes to wait for the clamouring crowd marching in the direction of a full border closure to reach an irresistible size and then place herself at it's head.

      • Janet 1.3.1

        Yes the " closing the gate after the horse has bolted policy " as it was as Covid started to bear down towards NZ in the beginning. They dillied and dallied. Too late and the consequential unnecessary extra financial cost to NZ Lock Down 4.

      • Louis 1.3.2

        Isn't it against the law to render New Zealanders stateless to stop them from coming home? hence a border closure with the exception of returning New Zealanders/residents and some exemptions.

        • James Thrace

          Certainly problems in restricting citizens rights to return back to their country of citizenship.

          NZ could stop entry to NZ by permanent resident visa holders – particularly those that were not in NZ for say the 6 months prior to February 2020. PRVs have citizenship of another country so will not be stateless. I understand that around 30,000 people who have come through MiQ are just PRVs – not citizens.

          Then again, Samoa shut it's borders to it's citizens for a lengthy period. One could argue that there is a justifiable limitation (protecting the health of the remaining population) on restricting the ability of citizens to come back.

          One way of doing it would be to shut the borders to all unless they have a real and genuine desire to permanently relocate to NZ. That would get rid of the rich who just want to fly in for a few months before leaving again.

          I'm very annoyed at the likes of the pizza owner published in stuff who's come back to NZ "for a break from USA" and criticising our Covid response without actually recognising he's putting our Covid response to the test.

  2. Ad 2

    Anyone going weepy over the NRA filing for bankruptcy? Generations of good Democrat politicians and Democrat candidates just demolished by them.

    • Sacha 2.1

      Aren't they only filing in NY state so they can move their HQ to Texas? #NotReallyBankrupt

    • joe90 2.2

      It's going to be fun.

      A major donor to the National Rifle Association is poised to challenge key aspects of the gun group’s bankruptcy filing, in an attempt to hold executives accountable for allegedly having defrauded their members of millions of dollars to support their own lavish lifestyles.

      Dave Dell’Aquila, a former tech company boss who has donated more than $100,000 to the NRA, told the Guardian on Saturday he was preparing to lodge a complaint in US bankruptcy court in Dallas, Texas. If successful, it could stop top NRA executives discharging a substantial portion of the organisation’s debts.

      It could also stop Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s controversial longtime chief executive, avoiding ongoing lawsuits that allege he defrauded the pro-gun group’s members to pay for luxury travel to the Bahamas and Europe and high-end Zegna suits.


  3. Treetop 3

    I have just brought a bottle of tomato sauce and I could not unscrew the cap to peel back the foil so the sauce could pour. I then thought to poke the hole and realised the new design had a soft plastic over the hole.

    So now another brand which is made out of tin or card cannot be used to refill the bottle.

    This is probably occurring with a lot of products. It is not about being cheap it is about excess use of plastic.

    • Sabine 3.1

      I had friends over christmas and they came with two meals from a box company called 'hello fresh'. OMG the plastic, seriously, everything is wrapped individually in some plastic bag or pouch. 4 sauces in pouches, coriander, basil, etc in bags, noodle portions in little bags, condiments in little bags, it is sheer madness, of course all branded.

      • WeTheBleeple 3.1.1

        That sucks. Seems like 'time poor' is just an excuse to do next to nothing these days. But some of this companies clientele will indeed own a bamboo yoga mat – 'sustainable' (shipped from Asia).

      • weka 3.1.2

        those companies need to be shamed on social media majorly. Plenty of other companies doing the right thing or heading in the right direction, zero excuse for starting new companies now with lots of plastic packaging.

        • Treetop

          +1 for being shamed majorly on media.

        • Graeme

          Hello Fresh and their likes aren't food companies, they are packaging companies that package individual ingredients to make a complete packaged product / meal.

          That packaged convenience is than sold to a seemingly very receptive market.

          It's the convenience culture, and the need for that to exist that needs the attention as much as the type of packaging.

          • weka

            I agree that the consumer end needs addressing too. But there's still no excuse for new businesses starting up to be doing this. It's not like their need to run a business is akin to someone's need to eat in an easier manner. But seeing as how we're apportioning blame, may as well take a poke at central and local government too. Who could be both legislating at the production end and fining/charging at the waste stream end. I'd do both.

    • Rosemary McDonald 3.2

      Wrap Rage…its an actual thing


      (Those little plastic/foil caps under the lid are called in our household IUDswink)

      • Treetop 3.2.1

        The little plastic thing in the pouring hole was a little cap thing with a x in the centre. Some sort of diaphragm thing as it could be removed.

  4. Anne 4

    I would be interested in other people's opinion of this story on the STUFF website:


    The headline caught my eye so read the story. It is about a young woman doing her two week isolation in a hotel. She claims she was too fearful to leave her room for exercise because of a young soldier's behaviour towards her. The soldier's viewpoints are in need of an overhaul and he probably put his views in an unfortunate way, but it was obvious he was not personally threatening her. Her boyfriend (a lawyer, who was on the other side of the fence) and who was party to the conversation must have recognised it was not a personal threat.

    The upshot is, there is now a formal investigation into her claims and a young soldier – plus some other staff it would seem – are being put through the mill as a result of over-blown and questionable sets of grievances.

    Having been through that kind of circumstance where a person (also a woman) was making false claims which prompted two investigations into me, I feel sympathy for the young soldier and the other personnel involved.

    It makes me angry whenever I read about this kind of thing because it casts aspersions on other women whose claims are genuine and should be recognised as such.

    • Stunned Mullet 4.1

      Clumsy communication by what was probably a young defence force member nothing more – over sensationalised by the MSM on a slow news day.

      Wonder why those involved felt the need to go to the media ?

      • Anne 4.1.1

        My reaction too. As for why they went to the media. Part of the me, me, me brigade and a chance for 15 minutes of fame?

        • Sanctuary

          Stuff have basically declared themselves the newspaper of record for identity politics, so this story is right up their street. It will be interesting to see how it is before they merge with thespinoff and publish a story from twit complaining about how Indian restaurants all have racist names full of colonial tropes and it has to stop.

      • Sanctuary 4.1.2

        The media have been pushing panic and fear mongering about COVID the entire Xmas break, there was some usual suspect – self important and opinionated expat from LA – opining in the paper the other day "…“I guarantee, if the virus has not already spread to the community, it will any day now…”

        Well golly, thanks for the insight.

        COVID is now the go-to story to whip up those clicks when most of the newsroom is on holiday.

    • bwaghorn 4.2

      Pain in the arse high maintenance clown with wanker boyfriend.

    • The Al1en 4.3

      This soldier sounds like a right dopey knob head.

      “We are not a communist country because of, you know, the Anzacs, the world wars, there are so many people that died for us to be here right now”

      “Argentina … they literally, they’re armed dudes, they rock around with like weapons and stuff and I’d love them to do that here”

      I certainly wouldn't be giving a loaded weapon to someone stupid enough to believe world wars were fought to prevent communism in NZ, especially when he really, really wants one to ride around with.

      I don't cut him slack for being young, any more than I do for appearing ignorant.

      It's a worry if idiots like this are commonplace throughout the military.

      • bwaghorn 4.3.1

        No doubt he ain't the sharpest tool in the shed ,but when you read his comments in context it was in no way a threat.

        • Anne

          Yes, that was the context I made my initial remarks. But Al1en is right… that soldier's got a lotta learnin to do.

        • The Al1en

          No, I also don't believe there was a threat in his comments, but looking at the 'have you been raped or murdered' logic and believing truck loads of armed imbeciles have ever stopped either from happening, just adds to his general projection of being really stupid.

  5. Adrian Thornton 5

    Ex-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: A New War Is About To Be Imposed on The Middle East!

    "On this episode of Going Underground, we speak to the former President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He discusses the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the possibility of a military attack by the United States in the last days of the Trump Presidency, his hopes for reconciliation and friendship with Middle Eastern rival Saudi Arabia, the worsening humanitarian catastrophe in Yeme."

    • RedLogix 5.1

      The US military no longer recognises Trump as it's CinC in any practical sense. There will be no US led war in the next 3 days.

      • Adrian Thornton 5.1.1

        @ RedLogix, I replied but it ended up as comment #7, not sure what happened there?..anyway this was the follow up to that comment.

        BTW, incredibly this is the guy we are meant to believe when he tells us Iran is now protecting al Qaeda behind their boarders…and credible news sources disseminate that garbage as fact…and Weka wonders why so many people have turned to conspiracy theories when it is MSM that are one of the biggest sources of either fake or through withholding news, disinformation in the world today.

        <strong>Pompeo reveals Iran-al Qaeda secret terror alliance</strong>


        <strong>Mike Pompeo About CIA : We lied, We cheated, We stole</strong>

        • Incognito

          Of course, it is all complete and utter baloney, but how can we tell? How can we separate the wheat from the chaff? How can we go past the one person’s reckons vs. another person’s reckons? What is your truth-distinguishing algorithm? A YT clip doesn’t cut it for me; do you know how many clips there are on YT?

          • Adrian Thornton

            "A YT clip doesn’t cut it for me"…not sure why you would say that?. some YT clips (and YT news channels) are useful others are not, just as some news stories on or from established media are useful while other are not.

            It's pretty easy to find trust worthy news sources in today's world really, just google up whom ever it is you are getting a story from currently and compare their coverage of past controversial or disputed events/stories that you know the facts around today and see how they covered that story back then…a pattern will soon emerge.

            Where they stood on Iraq Afghanistan and Venezuela is a pretty good starting point IMO.

            • Incognito

              Thank you, I think this is a critical issue and not just now.

              Yes, there’s useful YT content, of course, but the question is how to find and discern the ‘good’ stuff. Personally, I prefer the written word over audio or audio/visual for most factual information. It is generally easier to track and verify and less distractive. When possible, I read transcripts of YT clips.

              Google and other search engines are a double-edged sword because of their algorithms. Again, they can be useful for finding good factual information, but only if you really know what you’re doing. I believe that the vast majority of people don’t use Google in any critical/sceptical or research-like manner and few go beyond the first page of results. In many cases, even a subtle change of keyword(s) can produce dramatically different results, certainly of the top-ranked ‘hits’.

              When it comes to searching for quality opinions, it becomes even more difficult to not slide down into one rabbit hole or another, following the helpful ‘hits’ of a search engine. One analogy is the use of GPS in cars and how many people have gone wrong or been led astray and ended literally in a paddock, for example?

              Yes, (historical) patterns are a good way of finding and filtering content online. However, how many people look for these beyond merely their YT ‘heroes’ let alone opposing viewpoints? If your pattern only contains two points/sources, it is a straight line. You tend to see a lot of this one-dimensional ‘fact-finding’, commenting, and ‘thinking’ online.

              The point is that it takes time, effort, critical judgement (vigilance), and experience to separate the wheat from the chaff. There’s no easy & quick way. Heuristics such as ‘common sense’ or ‘common knowledge’ are intellectual/conceptual cul-de-sacs.

              One option is to throw something into an online group, e.g. a blogsite that allows comments, and get a good discussion going on the merits of it, et cetera. Hypothetically, this could build a community of people whom you’d trust and whose opinions and insights you’d value and respect even though you may not always agree with them, i.e. not an echo chamber 😉

      • bwaghorn 5.1.2

        As long as the the 20,000 national guardsmen that a flooding the capital are loyal to the flag and not his tannedness

      • Treetop 5.1.3

        That is reassuring.

      • francesca 5.1.4

        Are you talking about Pelosi's attempt to get military leaders to defy Trump?

        That would amount to a military coup, the officials said.


        The urgency to get rid of Trump by whatever means possible may end up with the constitution being more broken than ever.

    • Morrissey 5.2

      A comparison of the United States and Iran….

      • RedLogix 5.2.1

        Well for a start that comparison leaves out the Iran/Iraq war, which more or less deals to the credible intentions of whoever did it.

        And it leaves out Iran's deep sponsorship of Hezbollah and a number of similar troublesome actors in the ME.

        And it assumes the two nations can be valued in such a unidimensional manner.

        It also betrays a profound lack of understanding about the critical role the US played by fighting the Cold War, largely accidentally and with no real master plan, in creating virtually everything about the modern global economy you take utterly for granted.

        And what that list also hides, is that in terms of loss of life in major power warfare, the world has just lived through the most peaceful time ever. This didn't mean there were not a lot of secondary, smaller scale conflicts the US was involved in, but the it also ensured that no-one else was allowed to engage in war. The remarkable thing about that list is not the number of engagements the US became entangled in (for better or worse); it's that it's virtually the entire list of significant conflicts. No-one else other than the US (and it's client allies) were allowed to conduct warfare.

        The news that's about to kick the world in the nuts, big time, is that the US has finally reached the point where it no longer neither needs to undertake this role. It no longer needs to protect it's trade with the rest of the world, because outside of NAFTA, they have only a tiny handful of free trade agreements and the rest of world just doesn’t count. They will still run the world's most substantial military by an order of magnitude, but outside a much more narrowly defined self-interest, they've got no interest in imposing global stability anymore.

        And lots of regional wannabe powers are waking up to this.

        • Brigid

          "Iran/Iraq war" where Iraq invaded Iran

          "Iran's deep sponsorship of Hezbollah and a number of similar troublesome actors in the ME"

          similar troublesome actors eh.

          "outside a much more narrowly defined self-interest, they've got no interest in imposing global stability anymore."


          So we're all good.

          • RedLogix

            If you imagine global 'instability' is going to be a good thing; refer to your pre-WW2 world history.

        • Morrissey

          … the Iran/Iraq war, which more or less deals to the credible intentions of whoever did it.

          That war was started by Saddam Hussein, at the behest of his sponsor, the United States.

          Iran's deep sponsorship of Hezbollah…

          Hezbollah is a strictly local, Lebanese resistance movement.

          And it assumes the two nations can be valued in such a unidimensional manner.

          They can. As that graphic irrefutably demonstrates, one of them is the world's leading terrorist state, sponsoring brutal regimes from Tel Aviv to Manila.

          … and a number of similar troublesome actors in the ME.

          There’s one actor that is responsible for nearly all of the mayhem in the ME.

          • RedLogix

            As that graphic irrefutably demonstrates, one of them is the world's leading terrorist state, sponsoring brutal regimes from Tel Aviv to Manila.

            What it proves is that the USA is largely (but not exclusively) responsible for 70 years of no major power war, which in turn enabled an era of massive growth in trade and human development virtually everywhere.

            It didn't really have any master plan for this; it was mostly accidental, so yes there are many things they got wrong and have been rightly criticised for. But everything you take totally for granted about the world you live in, has been in many ways shaped by the role the USA has played since the end of WW2.

            That you've turned all this into a unidimensional, anti-US bigotry is fairly typical of the unhinged left.

            • Morrissey

              But everything you take totally for granted about the world you live in, has been in many ways shaped by the role the USA has played since the end of WW2.

              You're correct there. The USA is in large part responsible for the destruction of democracy in much of Central and South America; Africa (the CIA, as well as being involved in the killing of Patrice Lumumba, a couple of years later ratted out Mandela to the apartheid regime); Indonesia, the Philippines, …. (hell, you know the rest.)

              That you've turned all this into a unidimensional, anti-US bigotry is fairly typical of the unhinged left.

              ? That graphic that upsets you so much is neither right nor left. That its strictly empirical evidence makes you angry is your problem.

              • RedLogix

                No it doesn't make me angry; that's just you projecting probably.

                What I'm trying to convey is that bigots like you have been yelling 'Yankees go home' for decades, and now your wishes are going to come true.

                You may not like what you've asking for however.

                • Morrissey

                  You're not angry, you reckon. In your last two posts you have accused me of "unidimensional, anti-US bigotry", of being part of the "unhinged left", you've called me a "bigot" and even (bizarrely) claimed that I have been yelling "Yankees go home" for decades.

                  You're angry, all right. I suggest you take a few minutes before you rush into print next time.

                • Adrian Thornton

                  @ RedLogix

                  The fact that you can sweep away the ultra-aggressive and destructive history of the USA and her allies resulting in the deaths and displacement of who knows how many civilians and the downfall of countless elected governments around the world in one brush of your hand because your life and I assume those of your friends are unaffected and probably even benefited from that carnage is one of the most despicable comments I have read on the Standard..you should be ashamed of yourself, but I am sure that you are not, which is quite sad really.

                  • RedLogix

                    in one brush of your hand because your life and I assume those of your friends are unaffected and probably even benefited from that carnage

                    I'm not sure where you got the idea that I think the USA is above criticism; maybe it was where I wrote:

                    "It didn't really have any master plan for this; it was mostly accidental, so yes there are many things they got wrong and have been rightly criticised for."

                    Essentially we've had one power capable of imposing it's reality on most of the world for 70 plus years, and while I'm not painting the USA as an entirely benign, or even especially competent hegemon, objectively it's been better than anything that came before. Less deaths in wars, less total violence, and a massive increase in human development everywhere.

                    Yet you brush this off as somehow unimportant.

                    • Adrian Thornton

                      The only reason there has been less deaths over the past seventy years is solely because of the nuclear bomb and all that implies, I certainly wouldn’t give the USA any credit for those numbers…

                      " I'm not sure where you got the idea that I think the USA is above criticism"…

                      "which in turn enabled an era of massive growth in trade and human development virtually everywhere."…that part right there is where I got that idea.

                  • Incognito

                    There are way too many assumptions in your comment about the commenter and their personal life and that of his friends even.

                    Please stick to the comment and leave the personal stuff out of it, thanks.

                • Incognito

                  Please stick to the comments and avoid labelling/stereotyping the commenter(s).

              • Morrissey

                I forgot to mention the United States' destruction of democracy in Vietnam in 1956, followed by its destruction of most of the country in the 1960s and 70s, as well as ravaging Cambodia and Laos.

                Oh, and there's what they did to North Korea too…

                Now, maybe Americans don’t remember very well, but North Koreans have a memory of not too long ago, when North Korea was absolutely flattened, literally, by American bombing. There was—there was literally no targets left. And I really urge people who haven’t done it to read the official American military histories, the Air Quarterly Review, the military histories describing this. They describe it very vividly and accurately. They say, “There just weren’t any targets left. So what could we do?” Well, we decided to attack the dams, the huge dams. That’s a major war crime. People were hanged for it at Nuremberg. But put that aside. And then comes an ecstatic, gleeful description of the bombing of the dams and the huge flow of water, which was wiping out valleys and destroying the rice crop, on which Asians depend for survival—lots of racist comment, but all with exaltation and glee. You really have to read it to appreciate it. The North Koreans don’t have to bother reading it. They lived it. So when nuclear-capable B-52s are flying on their border, along with other threatening military maneuvers, they’re kind of upset about it. Strange people. And they continue to develop what they see as a potential deterrent that might protect the regime from—and the country, in fact—from destruction. This has nothing at all to do with what you think about the government. So maybe it’s the worst government in human history. OK. But these are still the facts that exist.


                • RedLogix

                  The context Chomsky is omitting here is of course the Cold War which is the critical backdrop to understanding the Korean War. Their goal was not so much as to defeat Nth Korea (who incidentally had been a bitter foe on the ground), but to also establish their willingness to hit hard against communism.

                  Missing from this article is of course the critical role both Stalin and Mao Zedong played in supporting Kim's invasion of South Korea. Both were convinced that the strategic balance had tilted in their favour and that the US would not value Korea highly enough to use nuclear weapons in such a conflict. (Which in fact they did not; while they remained an active option, the US generals were vividly aware of the costs of using them.)

                  All wars are brutal and bloody, both sides racked up atrocities and war crimes. But the root cause of the conflict did not lie with a US bloody-thirsty desire to bomb Korea into oblivion, but it lies absolutely with both Mao and Stalin's desire to confront the USA, who both gave permission and promises of support to Kim Il-sung's invasion of Sth Korea. Three of the world's most notorious leaders in modern times, conspired to invade a nation the US had committed to protecting – whitewashing that out from the narrative amounts to a selective, ideological version of the consequent catastrophe.

                  Arguably the bombing of North Korea went beyond the principle of 'the least force necessary' to achieve their purpose; yet history shows us that whenever one side gains a dominant strategic position late in a war, they're very prone to exactly this kind of over-kill. More than anything they want the damned thing to be over. And with the prospect of a protracted stalemate on the ground, still costing many lives, the US command reached for the one tool they could safely use to pressure North Korea into an armistice. Which eventually it did.

                  • Morrissey

                    The context Chomsky is omitting here is of course the Cold War…

                    ???? Chomsky does no such thing.

                    Arguably the bombing of North Korea went beyond the principle of 'the least force necessary'…

                    Good, you got one thing right. That's encouraging.

                    • RedLogix

                      Took another quick scan of your linked article – no mention of the Cold War that I can see. Maybe I missed it.

                      If you want to understand an event properly, it's essential to have a clear grasp of the context. The left is supposed to be good at this sort of thing.

                      But stepping back from this diversion, my real point is this. Yes the USA (and it's allies) have been involved in a long list of conflicts since the end of WW2. But crucially all of them are over, and in virtually all of them the USA never replicated the pre-WW2 imperial model of permanently occupying and colonising.

                      For a start the US is at it's origins an anti-colonial enterprise; it's rebellion from being a British colony is still a strong thread in it's history.

                      Perhaps more pragmatically, the US never really needed to do colonies in the same way prior empires needed to. The advent of coal and oil meant that the land area needed for photosynthesis powered economies was no longer necessary. Occupying is always comes at an escalating cost, and eventually it exceeds the benefits; and the Americans, secure and largely self-sufficient in their homeland, never really needed to expand territory for it's own sake.

                      As a result, we now live in a world of almost 200 largely independent nations. Since WW2 we've seen both the collapse of conventional empire, and an unprecedented surge in nation building. And mostly this was possible because if you played to be on their side, the US provided the security and trade infrastructure to allow otherwise unviable nations to develop well beyond their capacity to do so in isolation.

                      There is no need to overplay any altruistic card here; the primary American motive was essentially bribe up a global coalition of nations, strong enough to present a united front against the Soviets, and win what would become called the Cold War. Yes it was sometimes a messy and ugly process, we all understand this.

                      Yet it has had another immensely important consequence, that of creating a nascent version of global order and cohesion never before seen in human history – and unleashing an astonishing leap in human development also never seen before.

                      Now the Americans were probably the least qualified people to lead this, they tend to act without thinking too much, don't understand geography very well and don't speak many languages. They never had a sophisticated idea of how they might best use this global power they'd accidentally landed up with. They fucked up many times, yet despite this the end result has been remarkably beneficial for most of humanity.

                      Now consider this – what might be the outcome if a new globalisation effort was driven by real principle and committed competency? What might we achieve then?

                    • Morrissey

                      Took another quick scan of your linked article – no mention of the Cold War that I can see.

                      He also neglected to mention that Korea is an Asian country. I think we can take it as understood that Chomsky, of all people, was aware that the Cold War was under way. What the U.S. did in Korea, by the way, was the antithesis of a "cold" war.

                    • RedLogix

                      No but it as catastrophic as the Korean Was was locally, it was not a major power war. So yes the Cold War had it's hot spots, but no-one wanted it to engulf the whole world again.

                      But this is not my main point. In many ways we've been coasting on a legacy bequeathed to the world by the humbling, chastening experience of WW2. That generation understood viscerally the consequences of major power empire and conflict, and acted to try and end it. They fumbled and stumbled and often didn't do very well, but for 70 years they more or less succeeded.

                      Well in my view that legacy is just about used up. We can see this in the dramatic reduction in US engagement and troop posted overseas. These are now at a lower level than any time since the 1920's. We can see this in a resurgent isolationism in Washington, even the chaotic and highly impulsive Trump didn't manage to start any new wars, and I very much doubt Biden's administration will either.

                      Your viewpoint had some merit back in the 80's, but the ground has shifted. Yes the US will retain the world's largest military and anyone stupid enough to confront what the American's still define as their 'interests' will pretty much get what they deserve. But this also means Europe, Asia, the ME and Africa are on their own now, and this will have consequences.

                    • Morrissey

                      … the Korean War…was not a major power war.

                      ???? In your message at 10:45 am you wrote of "the critical role both Stalin and Mao Zedong played in supporting Kim's invasion of South Korea."

                      That generation understood viscerally the consequences of major power empire and conflict, and acted to try and end it.

                      They "acted to try and end it"? The only thing they tried to end—and succeeded in ending—was democracy in Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, the Congo, Indonesia, Chile— the list goes on and on and on. How do you explain the destruction of lives and democratic government throughout S.E. Asia, Central and South America, and Africa? Do they just not matter?

                      … anyone stupid enough to confront what the American's still define as their 'interests' will pretty much get what they deserve.

                      Such as being stupid enough to elect an independent, democratic government, as Venezuela foolishly has done, in spite of the most ominous threats and spectacularly incompetent coup attempts by Washington’s idiotic proxies.

                      Europe, Asia, the ME and Africa are pretty much on their own now, and this will have consequences.

                      They're better off on their own than being "helped" by the likes of these people….




                    • RedLogix

                      In your message at 10:45 am you wrote of "the critical role both Stalin and Mao Zedong played in supporting Kim's invasion of South Korea."

                      If you don't understand the term 'proxy war', then I don't think you should be participating in this conversation.

                      They're better off on their own than being "helped" by the likes of these people.

                      You need to go check on the history of Europe, the ME and Asia before you imagine that.

                    • Morrissey

                      If you don't understand the term 'proxy war'…

                      So if it was just a little "proxy war", was it?

                      The West presents North Korea as a paranoid state whose fear and distrust of the US emerged ex nihilo. But North Korea’s seemingly irrational need for deterrence has a history.

                      US bombing of North Korea was not confined to military targets during the Korean War. The US carpet bombed North Korea, dropping around 635,000 tons of explosives and chemicals, including napalm. Cities were obliterated; Pyongyang was destroyed. Every installation, factory, city and village over thousands of square miles of North Korea was bombed into oblivion. B-29s bombed hydroelectric and irrigation dams, flooding farms and drowning crops. The US even gave serious consideration to dropping atomic bombs on North Korea. General Curtis LeMay, the head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, said US bombs killed 20 percent of the entire population of North Korea. With 8-9 million Koreans killed, Polk says that “practically no families alive in Korea today are without a close relative who perished” in the US atrocity. This small adjustment to history puts North Korea’s desire for a deterrent in a slightly more nuanced focus.


                    • RedLogix

                      While as I said it was clearly a catastrophe locally; it was not on the scale of WW2 or anything like a direct confrontation between the US and the Soviets.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    After the better part of two decades of steady decline, what exactly has been changed to turn around the fortunes of these publications?

    They've come back with exactly the same formula as before – past their use by date boomers and tired gen-x writers ideologically wedded to neoliberal centrism and obsessed with being the jesters to court politics talking in tired cliches about the issues the affect an aging, white and well off demographic.

    They are probably a bit more debt free but the vision is stale and bereft of any real new ideas to stop the slow march to their inevitable demise.


  7. Adrian Thornton 7

    I have to agree with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he pretty much says it makes no difference who the elected leader of the USA is (for Iran), as the decisions on foreign policy is a straight line through them all…with the occasional exception of course, like Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, which was probably his greatest single action as POTUS.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      I agree it makes little difference, because what matters to Iran now really lies in the hands of Israel and Saudi.

  8. joe90 9

    Will no one think of the incels…

  9. joe90 10

    50 years ago ZZ Top released their first album – ZZ Top’s First Album.

  10. logie97 11

    During the period of John Key's holding office, a Standard reader kept a log of the "leaders" lies. It ran into pages.

    It would be an interesting exercise to chronicle the changes of National's stance on Covid.

    "We should open our borders to Australia immediately (circa March/April '20).

    "We should stop everyone coming through our borders …"

    "Let's have a bubble with Australia now…"

    Just what is their policy now?

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