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Open mike 21/12/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, December 21st, 2019 - 71 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 …

71 comments on “Open mike 21/12/2019 ”

  1. Ad 1

    A question for our Australian commenters:

    Is the dialogue about climate change getting stronger there?

    • Jenny How to get there 1.1

      It needs to get stronger here.

    • weka 1.2

      good question.

    • A 1.3

      You would hope this would hammer the message home… Penrith expecting up to 47C

    • Exkiwiforces 1.4

      It's starting to pick up now during this current bushfire season and the extreme weather pattern we are currently having which is effecting every part of Oz atm.

      Australian's by nature are a independent bunch of people and the same goes with their thinking, but they really do hate it when some or a bunch of high brow over educate bunch of tossers talks down to them/ forcing it down the throat to the average ocker and tells what to do and how they should do it etc.

      The average ocker likes to think for themselves and look at the available evidenced (there has been some really interesting graphs coming out of BOM, ABARES atm and some TV reports the ABC's Landline and News/ 730 Report) or when CC starts to impact on the lives of the average ocker before they like to make a decision IRT CC.

      The is tide on CC is slowly changing here in Oz as people across all sectors of Australia are starting to realise that CC is real and are now start to feel the effects of CC.

      For example we in the Northern part of Australia by now should've had at least over a metre of rainfall, but its dry as a dingo's backside and though it green atm. Mowing atm feels like being sandblasted by down wash by a CH47 Chook or CH53 Sea Stallion or Jet Prop wash of C130 on a duster airfield/ LZ in the Sandpit from head to toe atm.

      The Pollies are slowly starting to feel the heat now with the current/ extreme weather due to CC related events and if they are not seen to be doing something about it and just not tinkering around the slides, but meaningful actions. They well be throwed out of office. It happen to John Howard at a federal level and if ScoMo and his mob keeps up its current rate of effort up atm, then he and his bunch of Muppets will be out of a job.

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-21/angus-taylor-facing-the-ire-of-liberals-wanting-climate-action/11815000

      PS. Current temp at home atm, on my weather station is 38.1 degrees, with humidity at 45% and the pressure is dropping atm is around 1004.1 Hpa.

      At 14.31 Local time CST

      • Ad 1.4.1

        ExKiwi that sounds pretty brutal.

        So man y Federal governments have called in the last decade all based around addressing climate change in one form or another, that it's really hard to see the horizon of change.

        You will have seen our government do the full pre-Christmas dump of its Carbon Bill consultation, getting ready to ram it through in March 2020.

        Hard to see anyone getting away with that at an Australian Federal level if the ALP were in power.

        Barring a major city losing several suburbs to fire, it still feels like Australia's political discourse has a while to go on this.

        • Exkiwiforces 1.4.1.1

          I have a gut feeling this might be the year/ fire season that CC finally sinks in for awful lot of Australians. We were bloody luck up here in Darwin/ rural area of Darwin this fire season with only houses/ buildings being lost, but it was very F**king close and the law of averages will catch up with us on the fire line sooner or later. Which I've been writing up an end of action report for our NT Bushfire brigade at Dundee Beach/ Bynoe Harbour Area, but weather it gets notice and action is going to be another thing.

          We just spoken to the father in-law at Sussex Inlet about 30mins ago and the only Rd to Sussex Inlet is now cut and are now on ember alert. About the same time heard that the town of the former post war labour leader Ben Chifley Lithgow, is on the western side of the Blue Mountains is now on ember alert and this town is quite large probably the size of Nelson I think.

          I haven't read the NZ carbon bill as yet, but Shaw and Peters have done good job all consider.

          I'm head to Melbourne for the Boxing Day Test, via Sydney on Christmas Day and its going to interesting week for me.

          PS, here’s the link from the ABC’s Fire Alert updates and god bless the ABC and this the reason why we have a taxpayer funded Broadcaster.
          https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-21/nsw-bushfire-emergency-catastrophic-warnings-greater-sydney/11815992

          • Ad 1.4.1.1.1

            Amen to that; to the ABC, and to your father-in-law in Sussex.

            • Exkiwiforces 1.4.1.1.1.1

              Hi Ad,

              I've just sent an email from a brief write up I did for the folks at home in the NZ and I think it might make a good post for the readers here on the 'The Standard" to have understanding on the conditions that we face over in Oz during the fire seasons. It's picture and video heavy, well one video and a number of pictures on the conditions I face on the weekend of the 14 September 2019.

      • RedLogix 1.4.2

        Here in Brisbane we are only getting through with air conditioning. For many days this past month there have been vast, ominous smoke clouds that render everything a sombre orange, darkening into an apocalyptic red in the sunset.

        Yes it’s my sense from socialising that most people are uneasily aware that life as they knew it is changing. And this will fairly quickly reflect into the political scene.

        • Ad 1.4.2.1

          Who could imagine any Brisbane summer without air conditioning?

          Forest fires, temperature rise, and the accelerated collapse of the Murray-Darling seem like more effective public discourses into State and Federal politics about the environment than railing against coal mining.

          Is this the moment that public mood alters enough in Australia?

    • A 1.5

      Holy heck….only 2 major roads out of Sydney are open right now

    • RedLogix 1.6

      Here's another more direct answer to your question Ad:

      People are getting anxious and "this is not normal" — the phrase employed by New South Wales Liberal Minister Matt Kean to describe the apocalyptic skies above Sydney — could well become the catch cry of this summer.

      Liberal insiders know it is a hot issue and they know voters are increasingly looking to the Government to do something "more".

      At a recent meeting of Liberal MPs and senators, the party's federal director Andrew Hirst identified climate change and the economy as the biggest issues confronting the country.

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-21/angus-taylor-facing-the-ire-of-liberals-wanting-climate-action/11815000

  2. Ad 2

    This is probably worth a post in itself: the Dutch government has been ordered to do much more than it has been about climate change, after a six year legal fight.

    The court ruled that the government had explicit duties to protect its citizens’ human rights in the face of climate change and must reduce emissions by at least 25% compared with 1990 levels by the end of 2020.

    Hopefully that sends a shudder through a number of other governments.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/20/dutch-supreme-court-upholds-landmark-ruling-demanding-climate-action

  3. mac1 3

    Well deserved award to PM Ardern, by crikey.

    https://www.crikey.com.au/2019/12/19/2019-person-of-the-year/

    In part it reads, "Ardern’s response to the unimaginable horror of the Christchurch massacre was more or less flawless in both tone and content. The dignity and solidarity she showed with victims was matched with the courage to act decisively on reforming New Zealand’s gun laws.

    In a year where many leaders fled from scrutiny or cashed in on the kind of sentiments that lead to incidents like Christchurch, Ardern showed what leadership that pushes back against the worst parts of society really looks like."

  4. greywarshark 4

    On Radionz this morning. Needs to be heard though you will not like what you hear. Doesn't fit to a kind and practical rule. There are a lot of images on the Radionz site. There isn't a link set up yet.

    8:10 Ian Urbina – Human stories of crime on the high seas

    No caption

    Photo: supplied / Penguin

    From pirates to people smugglers, enslaved crews and dodgy fishing practices, the world's oceans are home to widespread and largely unchecked illegality.

    Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Ian Urbina has spent five years documenting the lawless behaviour flourishing on the high seas in his book The Outlaw Ocean.

    He's also set up a non-profit journalism organization called The Outlaw Ocean Project dedicated to publishing more stories about life and conditions on board the global shipping fleet.

  5. Jenny How to get there 6

    Thoughts on Chernobyl.

    Australia is going through a climate change Chernobyl, every single Australian state is suffering through a record early bush fire season and record breaking heat wave. Shockingly flying foxes are dying on their perches.

    After watching the mini-series on Prime I was struck by the similarity, with the current crisis in Australia.

    Just like the flying foxes in Australia, the mini series depicted birds falling from the sky to lie flapping on the ground in their death throes.

    After the Chernobyl explosion, Soviet political leaders were in deep denial as the reactor core was open to the air and lumps of radioactive graphite was scattered on the ground and roof of the plant.

    Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, (famous for holding up a lump of coal thoughtfully shellacked by his coal industry backers to stop him getting soot on his hands), like some unconcerned Soviet nuclear industry apparatchik, holidays in Hawaii.

    The depth of denial plumbed by Scott Morrison dwarfs that of the Soviets.

    Gorbachev didn't hold up a lump of (decontaminated) graphite to declare "This is graphite– don't be afraid!"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KoMeJB_ywY

  6. joe90 7

    It's 1930, again.

    • A 7.1

      The US military is in the middle of a recruitment crisis. At this point finding anyone who isn't smoking pot, can pass a basic intelligence test, and has a baseline fitness level is incredibly difficult for them.

      I'm guessing that they decided if one part of the recruitment criteria had to be softened it was psychological – yikes – what are they doing in that country?

      Maybe someone got to the senator.

    • Jilly Bee 7.2

      Yeah, right angry

  7. greywarshark 8

    Edit
    The House is produced for RNZ with funding from Parliament. I noticed a highlight on Radionz about PM Jacinda from The House and hadn't heard about this before. This piece is a speculative piece and gives explanation and interpretation about something that may never happen. Interesting, but I wonder what sort of focus on our reality and priorities for matters calling for explanation that journalists developing their own stories will show, especially when it is through RNZ, RadioNZ.

    This is the piece. Can you impeach a prime minister?

    (Followed by a pic of PM Jacinda on a background of an old hand-written document which might be the Treaty or some Constitution.)
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/the-house/audio/2018726597/can-you-impeach-a-prime-minister

    They conclude that we can't end up in the USA bog, a hopeful note!
    We no speak Americano
    In summary, New Zealand doesn’t require an impeachment process because prime ministers serve at the pleasure of Parliament (and their own party), and are easy to get rid of it they start getting all ‘high crimes and misdemeanours’ (which refers to abuse of power).

    New Zealand has had a few prime ministers who were bullies (there’s a big statue of one of them holding forth in Parliament’s front yard), but getting rid of them is as easy as a simple majority in the House. Just ask Marilyn Waring.

    And this fits in with a very interesting piece on falsehood in information releases by governments and gives a view of what is happening in Russia by someone who knows. It would give background learnings to many ponderings on this blog.

    Book written: This is not Propaganda – Adventures in the war against Reality. (Some of the best information we get is coming after books have been written and bring together disparate information for the public. I am amazed at the huge numbers of fiction authors at present. These days the reality books by people devoted to finding out and explaining what’s going on are really exciting!)

    9:25 Peter Pomerantsev: 'when information is a weapon, everyone is at war'
    How can we build up a more truthful picture of the world in the era of fake news, trolls, Trump and Putin? This is the question at the heart of Peter Pomerantsev's new book This is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality.

    Pomerantsev is a Soviet-born journalist, author and TV producer who's spent much of his life in Britain after his dissident parents were forced out of the USSR by the KGB.
    He's also a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute of Global Affairs at the London School of Economics.
    (Audio link to come if I get time, otherwise see audio list for Saturday Morning..)

    This is the link to the RadioNZ fishers and high seas story I referred to earlier. https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/2018727956/ian-urbina-human-stories-of-crime-on-the-high-seas

    • francesca 8.1

      I remember another interview with Kim some years ago when Pomerantsev was pushing a very similar line and promoting his book "Nothing is true and everything is possible"

      I followed up and read other stuff of his but also this..to me.. interesting critique by Mark Ames in 2015

      A real cast of characters here, the Chandlers, (particularly Chris, a kiwi billionaire) Browder, The Legatum Institute, the nutty ex Polish foreign minister Sikorski, married to Anne Applebaum, a colleague of Pomerantsev's

      https://pando.com/2015/05/17/neocons-2-0-the-problem-with-peter-pomerantsev/

      Sorry its a long read, but its always good to "pressure test" a story when there appears to be an agenda, which most often there is…from all sides.

      Pomerantsev is a great mate of Bill Browder who has a similar message

      More recent to the Ames article, the Browder (also rather breathlessly interviewed by Kim)story has come under closer scrutiny, by various unrelated figures. The most recent appearing in Der Spiegel.

      The link below also has links for a fuller discussion .

      Even our own secretive kiwi Chandler brothers, who made millions out of Russia appear in this story

      https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/spiegel-responds-to-browder-criticisms-of-magnitsky-story-a-1301716.html

      Its as good as Shakespeare, a human drama of power and intrigue and treachery, and Russia doesn't get off the hook either

  8. AB 9

    Useful interview of Aussie environmental scientist Bill Hare by Amy Goodman. He's part of a team that developed a tracker that is predicting 2.8 degrees Celsius (or more) of warming by 2100. He pans both Scomo's Liberals and the ALP – his point being that resistance to action in Australia is essentially political.

    That's no surprise though. The whole purpose of right-wing parties is to protect an economy that acts as a conveyor belt transporting money to the top of the wealth-power pyramid. Genuine action means that all that surplus money sloshing around at the top will have to be appropriated to fund the transition to carbon-neutral economies without creating massive hardship for those dependent on industries being phased out – as well as to fund managed retreat from localities that will become uninhabitable.

    Have to add how good it is to see 63 year-old woman who has let her hair go grey fronting a news show and striking a note of high seriousness.. Having recently seen the waffly sentimentalist John Campbell surrounded by a bevy on blondes in their 30's on the execrable 'Breakfast' show, or the endlessly self-referential narcissism of Seven Sharp, Amy seems particularly sane.

    • weka 9.1

      I hear Australians saying it's the right, but also the left (union history), and the powerful lobbies from various industries. Unlike NZ where we have a pro-action left and centre left, and business increasingly ready to get on board despite the recalcitrants like Fed Farmers and Fonterra.

      Did Hare address that?

      • AB 9.1.1

        No he didn't. He simply said that the ALP was no better, with the implication being that they are subject to the same pressures from economic interests.

        • weka 9.1.1.1

          ah, yes, that's similar. Political parties, unions, industry, all resistant and with a lot of power.

  9. joe90 10

    Because it's Chekist day

    We stand for organized terror – this should be frankly admitted. Terror is an absolute necessity during times of revolution. Our aim is to fight against the enemies of the Soviet Government and of the new order of life. We judge quickly. In most cases only a day passes between the apprehension of the criminal and his sentence. When confronted with evidence criminals in almost every case confess; and what argument can have greater weight than a criminal's own confession?

    Felix Dzerzhinsky

    • greywarshark 10.1

      OOh. Those movements born in fire and harsh coercion, will continue to smoulder and become too hot for people to handle. Cruel and callous cannot create a society fit for humans, animals or plants. No New Order from this background can be welcomed by decent, free human beings as a way of living.

      • The Al1en 10.1.1

        Cruel and callous cannot create a society fit for humans, animals or plants. No New Order from this background can be welcomed by decent, free human beings as a way of living

        Hollow words from you, yet I agree, at your expense, though still can't quite fathom how you managed to dodge this bullet when the debate about treatment of women has been raging for the past few days.

        https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-19-12-2019/#comment-1674615

        Is there no end to this hysterical, historical sexual accusation witchhunt thing?

        That 27 year old who has held a woman by the neck for heightened sexual effect, he is still not named is he. And he definitely killed that silly woman, and he is responsible for the force that she died from. Why isn't his name openly available, or has NZ suddenly become too dainty to cope with sexuality? We are a farming nation, and live by procreation.

        [fixed the internal link. You have to us the link html or button or it reverts back to the post – weka]

        • veutoviper 10.1.1.1

          I totally agree that action should have been taken on that absolutely disgusting comment by Greywarshark the other night on OM 19 Dec. And that is far from the first time we have had comments from Grey along similar sanctimonious, shallow lines.

          I was also shocked by Grey's comment yesterday at 3.1 on Open Mike 20 Dec that

          "Someone intoning about safety on the roads on radio this morning (in a foreign accent – Canadian I think one less job for a born NZer). Realistic xenophobia!"

          As noted in my response at /open-mike-20-12-2019/#comment-1674783;, that 'someone' was most probably none other than Julie Anne Genter as our Associate Minister of Transport. JAG was interviewed yesterday morning on RNZ's Nine to Noon programme re the Government's new multi-billion dollar road safety plan called Road to Zero aimed at cutting road deaths by 40 per cent by 2030.

          But Grey's view appears to be that 'this was someone with a foreign accent taking up a Nzer's job; and therefore "realistic zenophobia" is apparently justified!

          But as usual, Grey just sprays and walks away with no response to your and others' reactions to her/his OM 19 Dec comment, nor to mine yesterday on OM 20 Dec.

          And here she is back today, with her comments currently totaling 7 of the 30 so far today (as of about 30 mins ago). Well I suppose it keeps the comment numbers up if not the quality; but IMO it is not really surprising that over the last 10 or so months a noticeable number of long term commenters no longer participate here regularly, including myself. In my case, this type of behaviour/comment is a big turnoff and one of the major factors, but not the only one, as to why I no longer participate as much as I did. I certainly do not want to be associated with such prejudice and attitudes as displayed in these two very recent comments by Grey.

          • weka 10.1.1.1.1

            I'm aware there are issues. It's harder to moderate in places like OM and DR where the expectation is that as long as people don't break the main rules they can post abhorrent beliefs and arguments (there is a limit). It's the robust debate ethic and the theory is that commenters will then argue why the beliefs/argument are abhorrent (as you did over the xenophobia issue).

            If she was making those rape culture comments under a post of mine she would get warned then banned (have done so in the past) because I write to create a good discussion space. But then reasons why I'm not writing on those topics (and why there are no other regular feminist authors here) are the elephant in the living room of TS.

            If the community wants more moderation on topics like this it has to support the moderators and authors.

            • weka 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Just caught up on the comment and replies. I think that people did exactly what was needed: named the problems with the comment and pushed back clearly. I'm grateful because Grey has been commenting like that for a while and has generally not been responded to. I find reading those comments as a moderator easily the worst part of the job, it makes things way easier if the commentariat responds.

              Thanks to you both for raising it again today.

              • The Al1en

                I raised it again today mainly because I can't see how someone posting about 'Cruel and callous' not befitting society and humanity one day, can post cruel and callous comments a couple of days previous, showing a distinct lack of humanity, and expect to be taken seriously on any level at all.

                I honestly took it as an example of daytime drinking not being for everyone if it allows the natural nasty to come through in such an ignorant and spiteful way, but really, there's no excuse for that. Glad he got called out for it by a few others, too.

              • Pingao

                Thanks The Allen, Veuto and Weka.

                I have also found some of Grey's comments recently quite shocking – the full blown rape apologist and rape culture remarks and the misogynist language in particular. He/she made some similar remarks on open mike back in November 28 under the Assange thread (can't link sorry on my phone).

            • greywarshark 10.1.1.1.1.2

              I am really annoyed at veutoviper. I have not advanced myself as a woman so she has chosen to break the rule that good bloggers here don't penetrate others' pseudonyms. Which is strange as she always holds herself up to be exemplary in everything.

              Secondly there is the matter of free speech. I consider that my points are relevant and not unreasonable. The state of politics and the way that there is an oppressive PC control on speech from those who find that interacts with their advanced sensitivities means that matters can't be faced and discussed as they need to be.

              The PC brigade and those concerned with 'nice' and right-as-taught expression apart from that chosen as the official line, results in a shutting down of full discussion with the ability to be objective and see and speak to the unsatisfactory state of affairs. Trying to look at things as they are while this 'moral outrage' from the cognoscenti who have made a group decision that they are right, and there is one way to consider anything, theirs seems paramount. The carping continues regularly iterated from the passive aggressive controllers.

              If women can't strongly speak out on matters that should be looked at closely, not with a prepared reaction agreed to by the Sisters Union, they are being silenced and pushed out by these other women, who wish to be moral dictators. This reminds me of how Ettie Rout was treated after she conducted her campaign against sexually transmitted disease caught from sexual congress by soldiers in WW1. And I am sure that the sisters here won't see the parallel. Scorn and outrage is your response to the challenge of different ideas.

              So I have responded to all the comfy chair warriors, and those who want a harmonious little coterie. I haven't in the past because I thought that some different thoughts were needed but i see you are determined to squash them. You have your wish.

              • The Al1en

                Calling a murder victim "that silly girl" and historic sexual abuse/assault "hysterical" and a "witch hunt" isn't "different thoughts", it's just fucking wrong. It negates the devastating impact on victims and cheapens the suffering of all innocents. They don't need squashing, they just need not to be said in the first instance.

                • Stuart Munro

                  I'm not sure that "that silly girl" wasn't accurate – of course we don't have the full details, but certainly the defense were trying to suggest that Millane was up for bdsm with complete stranger. That seems unwise to me – not that it excuses the murderer one iota – but that reposing that much trust without cause is frankly dangerous. It is not uncommon for murder victims have done things that might be considered imprudent, and saying so isn't an endorsement of the crime.

                  • weka

                    'silly girl' is a pejorative commonly used to undermine women, it's not a phrase used to convey imprudence. Millane was an adult not a girl.

                    I didn't follow the details of the trial. Leaving aside the defence's argument was there any evidence that Millane wanted to be strangled during sex by a stranger on this date? I mean actual evidence here, not hearsay and rumour.

                    Without thinking too much about the stats, I'm wondering if the risk assessment is similar to say tourists going on a trip to an active volcano. I didn't see too many people calling them silly girls and boys. Partly because it would be grossly insensitive, but also because we just don't think about it like that. So why think about Grace Millane in that way?

                    • weka

                      to put that another way, it's possible to have a conversation about the politics of personal responsibility without using terms that start the conversation by victim blaming.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      I don't think it's out of order to suggest that her choice may have reflected a decree of immaturity.

                      Of course I'm not sure to what degree bdsm was even part of her decision as opposed to a self-serving narrative conjured by the defence.

                    • weka []

                      It might not be out of order, although I’m not seeing that given her age, and we don’t know what her choice was, so it’s kind of a moot point. But there’s no need to use language to describe her in ways that diminish her as a person. Talk about her actions and whether they were wise, but there’s still the bigger picture of rape culture and victim blaming.

                    • Andre

                      The defense produced several witnesses that claimed Millane wanted asphyxiation and BDSM during sex (in general, not specifically with respect to the encounter with the accused). Dunno whether that counts as evidence or hearsay and rumour. The prosecution produced witnesses that said the accused engaged in non-consensual asphyxiation and domination. Again, dunno whether that counts as evidence or hearsay and rumour.

                      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12286093

                    • McFlock

                      "immaturity" is just a more sensitive way of making the assumption that a Tinder date is more dangerous for women than the way we dated twenty or thirty years ago. Not so sure about that.

                      Secondly, even if it is more dangerous than meeting someone in a bar or at a party, there's still more than enough opportunity to avoid putting the focus of responsibility upon the victim. "Silly girl" is a pretty callous and dismissive way to describe someone who was murdered.

                  • The Al1en

                    Feel free to see the defence's argument without the benefit of the victim's testimony as unwise, and though you say "we don't have the full details", accept this rejected trial position as a valid reason to call GM that stupid girl.

                    Using that logic, I suppose it's okay to call out that kiwi lass in Ausralia who fell off a balcony trying to flee that aussie creeps apartment following a tinder date?

                    Or the girl in a short skirt who walks in to a bar full off men?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Actually I think the girl in Oz showed a lot of sense – though shouting to the neighbours or setting a fire might have worked better than climbing.

                      There used to be bars in NZ (and may still be) where that dress decision would almost inescapably bring certain consequences – the downstairs bar of the British in Lyttleton used to be such a venue. No defense for attackers, but a place most women would do well to avoid.

              • weka

                Not sure what you want grey. You have the freedom here to post your thoughts and others have the freedom to respond as they see fit. If you don't like the responses you can modify how you communicate, but you appear to be saying you want to say what you want and have people like what you say. It doesn't work like that.

                If your views are relevant and not unreasonable then argue them and see how they stand up to political analysis of your peers. What I see yesterday is you dropping a controversial comment and then walking away. You can't have it both ways. Either we have robust debate here or we don't.

        • The Al1en 10.1.1.2

          Info about linking received. yes

  10. A 11

    Mass rape in China against a Muslim minority. An activist asked,

    "Our children are unable to speak our language and understand our culture,” she said. “They are taken to state-run orphanages and are completely indoctrinated.

    “I’m afraid this will turn into mass extermination. There’s nothing better to describe what’s happening in Xinjiang than concentration camps. What are we waiting for? Mass executions and gas chambers before we take action? What is it going to take to have the leaders of world communities – particularly Western democratic countries like Australia – to act? Executions? Is that what it’s going to come down to?”

    • RedLogix 11.1

      I was going link to that myself. Truly one of the more disturbing things I've read in a while.

      One of the consequences of the concept creep which our outrage culture has indulged in for so long, that when finally faced with the truly outrageous and evil … we are at a loss for words and a meaningful response.

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        It was only 80 years ago or so that they realised they had to invent words to describe that stuff: "genocide" and "crimes against humanity".

  11. Whispering Kate 12

    The first thing that came to mind with the Australian PM holidaying in Hawaii while Australia is imploding with bush fires and enduring extreme heat was the saying "Nero Fiddled while Rome Burned". Seems very apt today and another ominous example of history repeating itself. I envisage Australian climate refugees coming here by the boatloads in the not too distant future – the irony of it. Because we are hopefully a civilised country we will accept them.

    If I was the Australian PM I would start treating our PM and country with the respect it deserves. He is going to have to do some grovelling/negotiating in the future to the NZ Government on behalf of his country's citizens so as to enable them to have a safe haven here. Meanwhile the country is frying and their Government is still in denial and thrall to the coal industry. God help them.

  12. joe90 13

    Of course they have some of the best gigs in the economy, politics, science, etc, etc, but other than that they're completely marginalised.

    /

  13. Andre 14

    Donny Dotard doing his bit to encourage vegetariansim in the USA.

    https://cleantechnica.com/2019/12/20/mystery-pork-will-soon-hit-the-stores/

  14. Ad 15

    Can I just give a shoutout on the retirement of Brian Gaynor, the well respected NZHerald business journalist.

    I always felt that he put the interests of New Zealand first, and always wanted business to grow in the national interest and not just in self-interest.

    He was always clear that overseas ownership of business and land here just holds New Zealand back. He was very rarely in favour of privatization.

    And he was resolute in holding bad directors to account and wanting high-quality industry-experienced directors to govern their businesses well.

    Finally, he had a broad horizon with some historical depth. In his last column today he rails against Muldoon for killing the Superannuation scheme an bemoans how much more powerful and secure we would be as a society we would have been. But still praises NZSuperfund as a good start, even if not perfect.

    Sure hope they get a decent replacement who seeks to bring the interests of business back to the long term interests of New Zealand.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12295721

  15. A 16

    Aren't we past this yet?

    "No one was given an explanation, no one ever consulted with me or my wife or offered any help to my daughter or apologised to her."

    Five years later, after the father had left the community, he finally took action after learning more about the law.

    When the police became involved, late Gloriavale leader Hopeful Christian – a convicted sexual offender himself – brought the mother into a meeting with the Servants and Shepherds, all men of authority.

    "Nev [Neville Cooper aka Hopeful Christian] told them that it was her fault, that she had not looked after my daughter properly or she wouldn't have seduced this old guy. He also spoke about forgiveness – that they all need to forgive Just, including my daughter."

    The daughter who seduced the old guy was 9 years old.

  16. Fireblade 17

    The instigator of the childish "Turn Ardern" campaign is Colin Wilson, a 66 year-old pale male from Canterbury. What a surprise (not). I bet he feels emasculated and scared when he sees Greta's photo as well. The poor chap needs therapy.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12295954

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