Open mike 18/02/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 18th, 2024 - 58 comments
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58 comments on “Open mike 18/02/2024 ”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    A couple of impertinent comments/questions from me to kick off the day.

    Firstly, how on earth will public transport be widely accepted if we keep having the sort of nonsense that has been affecting the trains in Auckland lately?

    Secondly, what is all this over-mothering nonsense about heat warnings at temperatures that equate to a nice summer's day? I have seen them being issued for temperatures as low as 28 degrees. People in Australia must be laughing at us given the temperatures they get.

    And, is there some weird North Island bias going on in this respect? I have seen plenty of heat warnings issued for the North Island, but I can't remember them being issued for the South Island where we have often been getting temperatures at 30 degrees or higher.

    • Robert Guyton 1.1

      Public transport in New Zealand won't ever be accepted while the oil-based industries maintain their influence over public and political thinking.

    • Bearded Gitc 1.2

      The problem is tsmith that every time National gets in they invest in cars and trucks and not public transport, especially not rail. Look at the way Willis is saying (RadioNZ this week) that there are many more ferry options if they didn't bother about the rail element, thus screwing the rail link that goes all the way down the South Island that was expensively restored after the Kaikoura earthquake.

      Public transport will only improve when both sides of the political spectrum accept that it is important. The Greens, as ever, are far ahead on this issue.

      • Kay 1.2.1

        I come from a very biased viewpoint saying this, but the other big problem is how pretty much everyone treats driving- and having a licence- as a God-given right, and not a privilage. This of us who have lost our licences (or never been able to get one) from medical bans will beg to differ. What is needed is for a suitable amount of people in high places to have their ability to drive anywhere taken away; to lose their independence, and see how they like the state of public transportation in this country. Then things will move VERY quickly, because the people in power need to be personally affected for anything to change.

        Of course, this will never happen. But I'm allowed to dream…

    • mac1 1.3

      Your heat warning concerns might be answered here. https://about.metservice.com/our-company/national-weather-services/heat-alert-trial/

      Actual forecast temperature, humidity, local 'awareness'. apparent temperature seem to be factors in my quick and cursory summary.

    • Anne 1.4

      … what is all this over-mothering nonsense about heat warnings at temperatures that equate to a nice summer's day?

      It is not over-mothering tsmithfield. It is accepting the fact there are people who for one reason or another are less able to cope with temperatures much higher that what is normally the case at this time. I refer to the elderly and people with health conditions that makes them vulnerable to over-heating in certain circumstances.

      As someone who falls into the elderly category, I found the hot, muggy conditions of 3 or so weeks ago very debilitating. I want to know when these conditions are likely to occur again so that I can take measures to ensure I am less affected.

      Edit: I see mac1 has linked to the official explanation. Good one. I was too lazy to search. 🙂

      • Kay 1.4.1

        Agree Anne. I can suffer from medical complications in high heat/humidity ('high' being 24-25+) so I really appreciated that heat warning trial- as well as my own daily weather checks- and being able to adjust my life accordingly around the heat of the day.

        It's a shame that some people need this explained to them.

      • tsmithfield 1.4.2

        Hi Anne,

        I was being a bit naughty with my use of the "over-mothering" phrase there lol, and was trying to be deliberately provocative.

        But, I think it is symptomatic of the tendencies these days for authorities to try and risk-manage every aspect of people's lives as much as they can. I think it just leads to a downward spiral of people taking less and less responsibility for their own decision-making, and a general dumbing down of society with people becoming less engaged in trying to solve their own problems.

        I think our ancestors who pioneered this country would be embarressed at how soft we have all become.

        The other thing with respect to heat warnings, is that I wonder if there was ever a problem to solve in the first place. Has there been research done to show that people were keeling over everywhere at 28 degrees or whatever?

        And people who are so stupid as to leave their kids and pets in cars will probably be unlikely to watch the news or weather anyway, or take notice of warnings.

        • Robert Guyton 1.4.2.1

          "I think our ancestors who pioneered this country would be embarressed at how soft we have all become."

          Yeah, they didn't have televised weather reports, and neither should we, aye tsmithfield!

          Fancy those smarty-pants probably-university-trained meteorologists and climatologists thinking they know more than a wet finger in the wind!

        • mac1 1.4.2.2

          "Has there been research done to show that people were keeling over everywhere at 28 degrees or whatever?" Short answer Yes. Short response. Look it up. Use that ‘modern technology’!

          We have these words in English- 'heat stroke', 'heat exhaustion', 'over-heating', heat prostration', 'heat collapse' after all.

        • Anne 1.4.2.3

          "… I think it is symptomatic of the tendencies these days for authorities to try and risk-manage every aspect of people's lives as much as they can. I think it just leads to a downward spiral of people taking less and less responsibility for their own decision-making…"

          I have sympathy with this view point but not in this case.

          The Met. Service is well aware of what is coming. They know these extreme weather conditions, including very high temperatures, are going to become more and more of a feature from now on. They also know tropical cyclones with their associated "atmospheric rivers" will occur more frequently with the potential to cause horrendous damage and death. None of this is being over-hyped. It is for real.

          They are rightly preparing us by setting up official warning procedures over and above the normal forecasting methods. These are still in their trial stages, so lets give them room to figure out the best way to go about it.

        • weka 1.4.2.4

          But, I think it is symptomatic of the tendencies these days for authorities to try and risk-manage every aspect of people's lives as much as they can. I think it just leads to a downward spiral of people taking less and less responsibility for their own decision-making, and a general dumbing down of society with people becoming less engaged in trying to solve their own problems.

          Certain times of the year I check weather forecasts multiple times in a day, and in summer that is partially to do with heat. I'm one of the people who does badly at 28C. Blame my Scottish ancestors.

          How is my checking the forecasts not taking responsibility? Metservice put up severe weather warnings, should they take those down too?

          I think you are really missing the reality here that 1) climate change is already here, and 2) none of us are adapted to it, and 3) it's going to get a lot worse.

          Metservice trialling heat warnings is collective responsibility, the kind that upholds personal responsibility. This is exactly what should be happening because it takes time for adults to learn new things, and we need to get ahead of the curve.

        • weka 1.4.2.5

          btw, well done on kicking off a good conversation. This is what we need too.

      • Jilly Bee 1.4.3

        Our son, daughter in law and family have lived in Melbourne for 20 years, where the temperature often gets up into the high 30s and low to mid 40s during the summer months, but still find it difficult to cope with Auckland and Waikato summers with the temperature in the mid to high 20s when they visit us. This is because of the constant elevated humidity which affects our weather almost on a day to day basis throughout the year. We have moderately high humidity in the middle of winter, which probably helps to make our frosts more 'whiter' and colder. Hubby and I have been in Melbourne and Adelaide in January and haven't felt overly affected by the high temps, yes, it's pretty warm, but not the energy sapping, sweaty heat we have to endure in the top half of N Z. I know that Cantabrians can suffer with heat issues when a Nor'wester is barrelling over the Southern Alps as can the landscape, which was very graphically shown to us all over the past week. I was going to add that the latter weather situation is usually accompanied by very low humidity.

    • Incognito 1.5

      Mac1 and others have already given excellent responses to your early-morning salvos.

      MetService will issue a heat alert for 46 towns or cities, if the forecast temperatures are expected to be unusual (very hot) for that location. This alerting scheme is not designed to capture every hot summer day, but rather focus on ‘top end’ heat. Of course, the thresholds to trigger a heat alert vary a lot from one region to another – what is considered extremely hot for a Cantabrian is very different to what a Southlander will deem hot.

      https://about.metservice.com/our-company/national-weather-services/heat-alert-trial/

      c'est le ton quit fait la chanson.

    • mac1 1.6

      Replying to the hot rails question, "rails in direct sunshine can be as much as 20°C hotter than air temperature…….Because rails are made from steel, they expand as they get hotter, and can start to curve this is known as 'buckling'. Most of the network can operate when track temperatures heat up to 46°C – roughly equivalent to air temperature of around 30°C – but rails have been recorded at temperatures as high as 51°C."

      https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/looking-after-the-railway/delays-explained/buckled-rail-and-summer-heat

      Isn't science and the Internet great for informing us? The article above suggest one fix is to paint the rails white, thus reducing their temperature by 10 or more degrees.

      Meanwhile in NZ we paint our house walls and roofs black and then install heat pumps to reduce the resultant internal temperature.

      • bwaghorn 1.6.1

        When fencing(building type not stabby type) ypu soon learn that leaving you rammer lying flat on the ground can turn it into a finger burning bugger of a thing.

    • I Feel Love 1.7

      I dunno about Australia laughing at us, I was in Melbourne when it got to 38 degrees & there was a heat warning & everyone who worked outside were instructed to stop. I have a cousin who's a linesman over there & they have some threshold too. Also, don't they have siesta in places like Mexico because of the extreme mid afternoon heat?

      • Obtrectator 1.7.1

        I've been saying that about siesta for years! There are times when we sure could do with it in NZ.

        And as other posters here have remarked, it's not the temperature alone that banjaxes you, it's the bloody humidity.

      • mac1 1.7.2

        I have a mate in Perth who reported that when outside maintaining a large vehicle radiator the working temperature was 54 degrees but the actual air temperature was about 40. I've been outside in WA at 44 degrees. We walked from tree shade to tree shade as the water was sucked from our very eyeballs.

    • AB 1.8

      Information is not instruction. Use your judgment. Not everyone's health status is the same as yours. You are being given the opportunity to choose what you might and might not do on a hot day (isn't choice the ultimate good in the right wing pantheon of minor virtues exalted beyond all sense or reason?). Be careful – from here it is easy to degenerate into claiming that you are being told what to think and are having your free speech removed.

  2. Francesca 2

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2024/02/18/guest-blog-alan-preston/

    I hope the link is acceptable on the Standard.

    How can we in all conscience decry what has happened to Navalny in a Russian prison , while quietly standing by and allowing Assange to be tortured (by the UN definition)in Belmarsh prison ?

    Denounce all political imprisonments or none, the hypocrisy in our fine rules based democracy is laid bare.

    An Australian journalist has been denied remote access to observe the proceedings in the High Court

    https://michaelwest.com.au/those-pesky-colonial-journalists-and-justice-for-assange-whats-the-scam/

    Make of that what you will

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    A new union for cooking teachers!

    "One teacher said: “I thought it looked too good to be true. I Googled them and found out they were anti-mandate. I hope they were brought in unwittingly. I’m not sure people would want to join if they know they would have to go on individual contracts and not collective agreements.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/nz-news/350182750/rival-unions-teachers-nurses-and-doctors-launched-anti-vaccine-figures

    • Muttonbird 3.1

      TPANZ was registered last April as NZ Teachers United. Documents were filed by Queensland Association Services Group Pty, from an address in Bowen Hills, Brisbane, the base of Red Unions. The three unions’ postal address is a mailbox in Parnell.

      Red Unions, whose key figures have strong links to the Australian Liberal-National Party, began in 2014 with a nursing group and has expanded into various trades.

      A trade union with strong links to right wing politics? That should ring alarm bells if the anti-vaxx stuff doesn't.

      Also can't work out how these people claim that individual bargaining, presumably on a case by case basis, is going to more efficient and cheaper than collective bargaining?

      At first view this outfit looks not much more than an employment dispute resolution service.

  4. Francesca 4

    For me it's the individual agreements that are totally suspect , lured in by the anti mandate stance, which I have some sympathy for.

    There have been a few court cases in NZ where anti mandate complainants have won their case.

    But yes, that sly little individual agreement insertion!!!

    Pretty cunning and dangerous .Anything to wreck what little power the remaining unions have.

  5. SPC 5

    The Beehive Civilian can report that the state of the nation address by the PM will be the same as one given before. In fact the same as that given by every previous incoming government.

    There is a mess to clean up. The type and extent of the mess is not a known, but that there was one is a known.

    We campaigned on the claim there was a mess and we won, so that is the proof.

    While we will not agree what the mess was, nor on how to fix it, we are here to help.

    • SPC 5.1

      The details – a $200B hole in the budget for transport because Labour had not funded the road and rail tunnel plans for Auckland. Fortunately for National they will solve this problem by not being in government long enough to be there when any work to replace or supplement the existing harbour crossing begins.

      • Bearded Git 5.1.1

        I would love to see precisely how he calculated that 200 billion. More Luxon porkies methinks.

        It probably includes a 100 billion plus of RONS that Labour never contemplated.

      • Anne 5.1.2

        So that's it. 4 lines from SPC encompasses the detail of his speech. I guess the rest of it was made up of superlatives (with emphasis on the words incredible and incredibly) and platitudes which mean precisely nothing.

        Don't listen to Luxon. Life's too precious for that.

        • Obtrectator 5.1.2.1

          Talking of Mr Luxon's addiction to certain words (e.g. "incredibly"): did anyone else happen to catch Melissa Lee on Media Watch this morning, commenting on the Fair Digital News Bargaining Bill currently before Parliament (and which she personally doesn't support)? I lost count of the number of "actually's" she uttered in that two or three minutes, once it had exceeded about ten.

    • SPC 5.2

      Like all great orators, the PM quotes Treasury

      “Advice from Treasury was that Kainga Ora’s forecasts relied on the sale of 10,200 homes in the coming years just to balance its books, even while Kainga Ora’s debt is set to rise to $29 billion.

      Except there was no advice given, just some information about the current position of the agency. Given the agency funds new builds and the cost of those is going up, debt will go up – but so would the value of their existing assets.

      Essentially Treasury told the incoming government Kainga Ora has an existing strategy – property sales – to balance its books.

    • AB 5.3

      And of course, the mess can only be solved by doing the things we have always wanted to do anyway, have always done in the past, and always will want to do under every possible set of economic conditions in future, including those completely different from the present.

  6. Kat 7

    This state of the nation sermon from Luxon:

    He said – twice – that Aotearoa was in a "fragile" situation, and lashed out at the previous Labour government, which he said was "broken and distracted" and had "let down" Kiwis.

    "Our job is to restore the spirit and the promise of New Zealand, that if you work hard – come what may – you can get ahead," he said. "We were not elected to manage decline."

    Luxon said his government would not "sit by and wait for miracles to happen".

    Proverbs 14:23 states, "In all toil, there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty." This verse emphasizes the importance of putting in the effort and hard work to achieve success. Without diligence and hard work, we cannot expect to attain a fruitful outcome.

    When only chaos is delivered, how long before he says: "I am only accountable in the eyes of my Lord"……..

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/politics/350183480/nz-politics-live-pm-christopher-luxon-gives-state-nation-address

    • Incognito 7.1

      “It’s beginning to be clear that by complaining instead of proposing solutions, the new Prime Minister is laying the groundwork for radical right-wing reforms and cuts to core public services, when what Aotearoa needs is investment in the wellbeing of communities, the protection of nature, and climate action.

      https://www.greens.org.nz/luxon_s_buzzwords_hint_at_sinister_agenda

      Bull’s eye re. Luxon and the Coalition’s BS.

      • Kat 7.1.1

        When Luxons policies fail for people in need, the weak and the frail this coalition of BS will just blame Labour for making NZ so "Fragile" that its impossible even if you "work hard" to get ahead………which begs the question ahead of what?

        I suspect Christopher Luxon would likely quote the Proverbs again, just in more 21st Century corporate speak.

        • Robert Guyton 7.1.1.1

          He is intent on changing the framing, changing the story, changing the narrative.

          That's the greatest challenge to us.

          The Right know this.

          We on the Left need to FOCUS,

        • Mike the Lefty 7.1.1.2

          It's a classic National tactic.

          When you win power you claim that things are worse than you ever imagined to justify breaking your election promises.

          Seen it every time National have ever come to power since 1975.

    • Robert Guyton 7.2

      Unwatchable

    • Robert Guyton 7.3

      Luxon doesn't have faith in miracles?

      Has the Upper Room been informed?

  7. joe90 8

    No, you fascist fuck, leadership doesn't require killing your political opponents.

    /

    @JuliaDavisNews

    Tucker Carlson, when asked about Alexei Navalny, opposition leaders and journalists in Russia: “Every leader kills people. Some kill more than others. Leadership requires killing people.”

    https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1758515284741173538

    • adam 8.1

      No, you fascist fuck, leadership doesn't require killing your political opponents.

      Someone should tell Biden that

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6x9Bltb7ZYE

      • tWiggle 8.1.1

        In reply to Adam's utube clip accusing Biden of assasinating Assange slowly.

        Assange's initial asylum granted in the the Ecuadorean enbassy was against extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges. These may have been a ploy to allow later extradition by the US, although no charges against him were openly laid by the US at the time.

        Judicial espionage charges that Assange harmed US security in US were brought against Assange under Trump's presidency, not Biden's.

        Charge record here.

        The UK govt is the one holding Assange for breaking bail on the Swedish extradition charge, not Biden personally. The UK courts approved his extradition to the US when he has finished his sentence. Blame Sunak for Assange's welfare.

        Australia's parliament is pushing for US to to drop charges.

        Biden may still drop the charges in response to Australian pressure. No falling out of windows, no novochok poisoning, no exploding cigars in sight.

        [I’ve changed your username and email address back to what you have used historically, because we prefer people to use one handle on TS. To keep your commenting ability here, please do the following:

        1. reply to me saying you will use that username/email from now on
        2. read this mod note from Lynn and reply to me telling me you have read it.

        You are in premod. If you don’t reply I will shift you from premod to the ban list, to stop wasting moderator time. – weka]

  8. Robert Guyton 9

    Question to all Standardistas:

    Are we a think-tank?

    • bwaghorn 9.1

      It would depend on whether our thoughts are channeled into action by others reading it ,would it not?

    • weka 9.2

      I don't think so. Isn't a think tank a group of people coming together with common purpose and with shared expertise in a specific area?

      We are something else.

    • roblogic 9.3

      A think tank usually has a statement of purpose, and a few people with fancy titles on the front page, and produces reports with some academic rigour.

      The other big thing TS is missing, is funding from a shadowy cabal.

  9. joe90 10

    A little country.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=238Z4YaAr1g

    Beyoncé – TEXAS HOLD 'EM

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