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Open mike 20/02/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, February 20th, 2020 - 59 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 …

59 comments on “Open mike 20/02/2020 ”

  1. Adrian Thornton 1

    While more and more damaging information on Bloombergs past (and present) keeps surfacing, the media and DNC soft pedal on their coverage or critique of him..wonder why?, I suspect it is because as it turns out (if you hadn't worked this out already) liberal centrists in both the media and the establishment DNC care more about maintaining their power and stature and privilege than they do about rising to a supposed higher moral ground or fighting so called foreign interference or for that matter any other attack they have rightly leveled at Trump..yes, as it turns out, as soon as they found their own Trump in the disgusting form of Bloomberg, they are fine with all the shit that make Trump supposedly so dangerous…and in my opinion far more dangerous…

    Here's the thing about the centre and especially the liberal centre, they tried to tell us they were post ideology, but we know that was a complete fantasy on their part…but what they have proved beyond a doubt is they are post operating within a moral or ethical framework of any kind.

    • To call them "centrists" is a stretch A.T.-I suggest that Bloomberg is to the Right of Soimon's party in NZ.

      • Adrian Thornton 1.1.1

        Howdy BG, that is exactly my point, the so called centre left liberals have moved so far right that they can no longer be regarded as being the self described moderates that they sell themselves as, no they are extremists who have shown that they will defend their ideology at any cost.

        If following Corbyn's plight hasn't made that plainly clear, then surely following the democratic primaries has, especially now Bloomberg is in the mix.

        • RedLogix

          Pretty much everyone regards their own position as reasonable and moderate …cheeky

          • Tiger Mountain

            heh, speak for yourself…

            • RedLogix

              It's a simple and obvious truth, almost no-one regards themselves as unreasonable, extreme or evil … no matter what we believe or do. And yes it applies to myself as much as anyone.

          • Andre

            True self-awareness is such a rare and fleeting thing. Projection, on the other hand …

            • Nic the NZer

              When will you be posting that your voting for Trump this year? Just waiting for that Bernie nomination?

              • Andre

                Warren for the primary. Then whoever is the Dem nominee for the general, even if it's Biden or Bloomberg. Though if it's either of those two, I'll need my full hazmat suit and a serious drinking sesh before ticking the box, dropping it in the envelope and mailing it off.

                I've got no problem with just about anything Bernie would try to do as prez. I'm just doubtful he'll actually be able to achieve any of it. Because he has achieved astonishingly little for his decades in Washington, has demonstrated zero ability to put together a coalition to hash out a compromise on legislation that needs a majority in the House and 60 senators to pass.

                If Bernie is the Dem nominee, disgust with the Tangerine Palpatine may be enough to get him into the Oval Office. But there will be a lot of voters that will then go on to tick the local Repug for House and Senate, specifically to be a handbrake on Bernie.

                Whereas a Dem nominee whose positions are a bit closer to the top of the normal distribution on most issues may actually end up with a House and Senate that is willing to pass something. Or at least a simple majority in the Senate, to be able to confirm judges and Cabinet posts.

                • Macro


                  I don't think many commentators here actually understand the complexities of US politics. I think if Bernie is to be the successful Democrat nominee, then much will depend on whom he chooses as his running mate. Trump for instance chose Pence to successfully win the backing of the white religious right, and they will remain faithful to the tangerine dick, as long as he continues to trample over the rights of women, latinos, blacks and muslim; notwithstanding the fact that he is the most corrupt person to have ever been appointed to the office.

                  There are promising signs, that with the right person running, it might be possible for Democrats to win a majority in the Senate. Susan Collins for instance is now vulnerable in Maine – despite the fact that she won a sizeable majority at her last election.


                  I do think that the events over the past few weeks are slowly beginning to sink into the consciousness of some, if not all, American voters that their democracy, if not already trashed, is seriously under threat right now. And the blame will certainly land on Republican Senators who abysmally failed to uphold their duty of office.

                • Bearded Git

                  Bernie is polling 9% ahead of Trump inhead to head……shame Warren lost credibility because she suggested taxes would have to rise to pay for universal health care. Sounds like a bargain to me.

                  • Andre

                    The Dems need to net a minimum of 3 seats in the senate to do anything.

                    Doug Jones is a real long-shot to keep his Alabama seat.

                    Cory Gardner (CO) and Susan Collins (ME) look vulnerable, but even if those flip, 2 more are needed.

                    With Bernie as the nominee, which senate seats do you think the Dems will flip? Thom Tillis (NC)? Joni Ernst (IA)? Either of the Georgia seats? Martha McSally (AZ)? John Cornyn (TX)? Either of the Georgia seats?

                    Beyond those, it really gets into wild fantasy, like flipping Moscow Mitch's KY seat, of Lindsey Graham (SC). Or Tennessee or Montana.

          • Adrian Thornton

            @ Red Logic, 'Pretty much everyone regards their own position as reasonable and moderate' I know that you are saying that in good faith, but I just don't agree with holding that view, I think that advocating that position is a copout…by extension you could say that Pol Pot regarded their position as reasonable etc.

            It is high time that we as progressives (as they are doing in the US and UK) say our ideology is right (for this time and space in history) and the Right (and centrists) have had their turn and failed, their ideology just plainly dosen't work for most of the humans on the planet or for that matter the planet either..end of story, so get the hell out of our way!

            • RedLogix

              by extension you could say that Pol Pot regarded their position as reasonable etc.

              And that was precisely my point; they almost certainly did. As did any of history's monsters. As Andre said, self-awareness is a rare and fleeting thing.

              And your argument would be much more persuasive if so called 'progressives' had a better track record. Not all new ideas are good ones, some like marxism turn out to be utter catastrophes.

              their ideology just plainly dosen't work for most of the humans on the planet or for that matter the planet either

              Yet even the most cursory comparison with how people lived 200 years ago demonstrates that most humans on the planet are a lot better off. Of course the world isn't perfect, but you have to ask 'compared to what?'

              And demanding that the 50% of the human race who identify as conservative to STFU, is not a stable basis on which to introduce enduring and constructive change. You are going to have to work with them, and learn to frame your ideas in terms they understand and can live with. Indeed the best way to get a conservative on board with a progressive idea is to show them how to make a buck at it. cool

            • McFlock

              well, pol pot and hitler might have conceded that their positions were extreme (because the measures they took were extreme compared to what most people would have considered). But I suspect both thought their positions were logical and reasonable. And they might well have regarded everyone else as being grossly negligent, and their measures weren't as far as they could have gone and therefore they were "moderate" by that measure.

              But I don't know anyone who's gone "my beliefs are extreme and unreasonable, I recognise this, but that's how I vote".

              • Andre

                Whenever I take one of those "Political Compass" type quizzes, I always end up near the edge of the map, with the line from my spot to the centre passing close by the Greens. And the Greens' support is generally a mere single digit.

                So I'm well aware my actual political views are extreme in comparison to the general population. But I'm not interested in convincing anyone of the purity of my thought. I'm interested in progress towards what I believe in, no matter how small. And I'm particularly disappointed when power is held by those that want to move in a direction opposite to my beliefs. So I support whomever is closest to my position that actually has a decent chance of gaining and exercising power.

                • RedLogix

                  Same here; I always end up close to the left hand edge on the economic axis, but fairly midway on the authoritarian/libertarian axis. Like you I realise this makes me a real outlier and while I am comfortable in my own skin about this, it also means as you put it well 'I don't have to convince anyone of the purity of my thought'.

                  And certainly I cannot claim any privilege to force my views on anyone.

                  • Andre

                    The bugger of it is, sometimes it means I feel the need to choke down a large dead rat and support someone that actually wants to move a bit in the opposite direction to my beliefs.

                    That happens when the only other alternative wants to move hard and fast in the opposite direction to my beliefs. I'm really not looking forward to that huge serving of week-dead roadkill rat in November, served up by Biden or Bloomberg.

                  • Andre

                    Looked into basalt fibres a few times. But every time there was a grade of glass or polymer fibre that was a better fit for the application.

                    For compatibility with steel, IIRC there's some very specific chemical environments where basalt works a bit better than glass. But generally glass is inert enough there's not a significant difference.Further comments really need to be specific to what properties need to be compatible with steel, some are close (eg thermal expansion), some are way off (eg modulus, strain to failure).

                    If toughness is a major criteria, my first impulse is that S2-glass is likely to be better, unless it's in one of those specific chemical environmnents where basalt shines.

                    • RedLogix

                      Marine. The thermal expansion compatibility and toughness was what took my attention, plus the low permeability. I need about 20kg of epoxy based fairing compound to go over an epoxy primer on clean steel, then topped by more epoxy high build and then urethane. Flake looks the right fit, but I can't find an Australian source and I was wondering if it would be worth importing.

                      Given the relatively small scale of this experiment I'm not sensitive to cost … but thanks for the sanity check.


                  • Andre

                    If were ever to step into the world of pain involved in trying to fair something using epoxy loaded up with milled fiber, I'd just use whatever the local composites supplier had. The tiny extra performance from basalt in an application like that will make negligible difference in final performance.

                    But I would be super careful to understand the epoxy involved to be sure it was a good choice.

                    And I'd be super careful to finish the glass-filled fairing below the final surface and skim with something nice and easy to sand. I really wouldn't enjoy trying to sand back a heavily fiber-filled fairing compound. But then, I'm seriously lazy.

                    • RedLogix

                      lol … indeed. That's why I was planning on a generous layer of HB sandable epoxy. But yes you are probably right.

        • Tiger Mountain

          The UK and US elections are a real world demonstration of “hegemony” aka pervasive dominance.

          Neo liberalism is maintained by ideological force inclusive of media and psychology, as much as by state force in Western style countries. Associated consumerism and hyper individualism foster the familiar “dog eat dog” approach to most areas of life, that make it harder to organise and involve people in public affairs.

          Bloomberg’s “me me me” spend millions campaign vs Bernie’s street by street organising could not be a clearer contrast.

        • Bearded Git

          corbyn lost on Brexit….fully 50% of Labour's 2015 pro Brexit vote switched to Bojo in 2017

          • Tiger Mountain

            Agree. Brexit queered the pitch big time. With hindsight the least worst solution was there all along–Labour would respect and implement the Brexit Referendum vote diligently, and implement its domestic manifesto too.

  2. Chris 2


    Another coastal campsite up for grabs. Let's hope the government snaps it up and makes it DOC campsite.

    It was gutting to see what happened to the Opoutama campsite on the Mahia peninsula a few years back. Such a lost opportunity.

    If we haven't learned enough from that to ensure it doesn't happen again there's something wrong.

    • Andre 2.1

      In between rising sea levels and likely increased storms, how long do you reckon until that bit of land becomes sea?

      • Alice Tectonite 2.1.1

        Very roughly:

        • Recent erosion rate ~2m/yr (Google Earth images over ~7.5 years)
        • Width of camp to base of old sea cliff ~40m
        • So, ~20 years at current rate (although camp would be unusable before that)

        But, as you say say, increase in storms (due to more energy in the system) + sea level. So likely increase in erosion rate (assuming no increase in sediment supply). Something like a cliff collaspe south of the camp might temporarily halt or reverse erosion as longshore drift goes northward.

        Not sure its worth the $1.6M…

        • Andre


          Every time I get deluded into thinking I might be the nerdiest commenter here, someone comes along to set me straight.

  3. Andre 4

    What's happening in Syria now that Asshat and Pootee know their hands are completely free …


    • RedLogix 4.1

      Yup … absolutely godawful. I try to hold back from any ME threads because I'm aware of the utter impossibility of any positive outcomes under the current conditions. Anything anyone does or doesn't do is pretty much damned from the outset by intractable positions and reductionist arguments.

      I feel terrible for the people in this story, but I personally believe this is a tragedy with roots beyond human comprehension, and it's climax is nowhere in sight.

      • Andre 4.1.1

        I've visited Syria under Bashar. From that experience, I'm firmly of the view he is a thoroughly nasty POS. When there was an uprising of locals wanting to rid themselves of him, they deserved the support of everyone that values human rights and a people's right to self-determination.

        But fuck, when assorted outside powers saw the opportunity for a willy-waving proxy war, and local evil opportunists saw openings to push their own twisted agendas, it pretty quickly became very difficult to work out where one's sympathies should lie.

        But one thing remained constant, labeling all the opposition to Assad as "headchoppers" was always a simple smear that only served the propaganda pushed by liars on the side that was initially clearly in the wrong.

        • RedLogix

          I've visited Syria under Bashar.

          Thanks for that. I realise that visiting a country doesn't make anyone any kind of expert, but it does create a connection and a sense of place and history that is worth listening to.

  4. Puckish Rogue 5

    Heres something some apologists, politicians and media types should have a read but they won't

    • Sacha 5.1

      Pssst – you can leave off everything from the ? onwards in links like that. eg: https://ngaitahu.iwi.nz/our_stories/maori-victims-of-crime-tk79

    • RedLogix 5.2

      In the 80's I spent considerable time as a visitor to a number of marae, but notably this one near Taumaranui. My grandfather is Ngati Porou. When we lived in Masterton we saw much of what Ward writes about first hand. Everything he is saying is based in a grim reality that is impossible to deny.

      I totally agree with his conclusion, until people are willing to take some responsibility for their choices it is impossible to help them.

      At the same time I'm still willing to accept that people's bad choices don't arise in a vacuum. History does matter in that it creates context.

      Two perspectives that I believe are both valid and essential. Reductionist arguments that exclude one or the other are the barrier to progress …

      • Puckish Rogue 5.2.1

        Oh yeah agreed.

        • RedLogix

          If this leads to hapu taking ownership of the problems then I'd support it. Of course there will be some who will take this self determination and attempt to parlay it into separatism, but that's another question.

          • Puckish Rogue

            I think the idea that the govt (any govt) can solve social issues (not sure if thats the correct term) is one of the biggest barriers to overcome

            The govt can set the agenda, can set policies, can create (or destroy) jobs etc etc but in the end its family, whanau, community etc etc that will have a greater effect in stopping (well not stopping because it'll never end) this

            • RedLogix

              Yes. Helping people is incredibly hard, it's more likely to compound the problem than help if you blunder in with 'one size fits all' solutions as govts are bound to try.

              Family is always the most intimate, powerful influence on us all … for good or bad.

            • ianmac

              Well well well Puck. I agree with you for once. I guess though that Governments can set up a society that values everyone no matter who or where but the essence of the National tribe is stated as everyone for themselves. If you ain't one of them it is because you are lazy. (An elderly friend of mine is a staunch National man yet he does so much for others including creating a growing inclusive rugby club to cater for young people where they just play the game for fun.)

              It is a nebulous idea but to declare a wish for people to help others and value kindness might have better results than the above self centred ones.

  5. Tiger Mountain 6

    Hone Harawira was the last MP to seriously push “Feed the Kids”, well done Hone! and now Labour via the coalition Govt. have actually started a $45mill year 1-8 lunch trial.

    So why are they not trumpeting this fact. Embarrassment that it is necessary at all? don’t be whakama Labour–Scandinavian countries provide nutritious meals to their school children. It is wise spending.

    National by various accounts, and the evidence on social media, has a number of IT people polluting online forums with reactionary nonsense, so why cannot the Govt just issue announcements about positive things it has done?

    I am as critical as anyone on the Labour Caucus support for the neo liberal consensus that has essentially frozen political progress in time, around the early 2000s, but fer crissakes I still support necessary reforms and people should perhaps be told about them?

    • gsays 6.1

      Thanx TM, I didn't know that.

      I remember Hone saying that funding the kai in schools could come from bringing home the troops from Afghanistan.

      It got my vote.

  6. joe90 7

    Wonder if Assange's beaks are going to offer evidence to back this claim.

    Donald Trump offered Julian Assange a pardon if he would say Russia was not involved in leaking Democratic party emails, a court in London has been told.

    The extraordinary claim was made at Westminster magistrates court before the opening next week of Assange’s legal battle to block attempts to extradite him to the US, where he faces charges for publishing hacked documents. The allegation was denied by the former Republican congressman named by the Assange legal team as a key witness.

    Assange’s lawyers alleged that during a visit to London in August 2017, congressman Dana Rohrabacher told the WikiLeaks founder that “on instructions from the president, he was offering a pardon or some other way out, if Mr Assange … said Russia had nothing to do with the DNC [Democratic National Committee] leaks.”


    • Andre 7.1

      While it's a fascinating detail, I can't see how it fits into an argument against extradition.

      Is it part of making a case that the extradition request is retribution by the Spraytan Stalin for a dirty political deal gone wrong?

      • Macro 7.1.1

        The argument being made by the Assange team is that the request for extradition by the US is entirely political in nature, and because of that, it should not be proceeded with. By presenting this fact of a possible pardon should Assange produce a hard drive or some other such device that showed that the hack of Clinton's emails was not done by the Russians 😉 then that would relieve a monkey off of T's back – and we know how sensitive he is to that accusation of collusion with his mate Vlad.

    • Macro 7.2

      The statement was made by a Edward Fitzgerald QC in court. The code of conduct to which he has sworn includes:

      “you must not knowingly or recklessly mislead or attempt to mislead the court. That includes not making a submission or representation which you know is untrue or misleading.”

      Over the past few days we have seen that T is open to giving his friends a free pass from jail in return for some quid pro quo. So it is extremely likely that despite the efforts at the time of the "adult in the WH", John Kelly, to prevent such an offer being made, it would not be surprising if it was.

  7. WeTheBleeple 8

    Anyone else just watch the live evisceration of Bloomberg in the debate (on MSNBC).

    They called him out to release women in non-disclosure agreements to freely speak, and he wouldn't do it. He could barely get a word and dropped the ball every time he was handed it. It's half time and second half about to commence.

    • Macro 8.1

      Yeah – I've have heard that come Super Tuesday the berg will have melted away by then. Here is hoping . Having said that I'm also hoping that he honours his promise to fund the advertising for the successful nominee. Some of his ads so far have been hugely hard hitting and very successful in reaching the target audience

    • Cinny 8.2

      YES, it was a beautiful moment 🙂

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