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Open mike 22/05/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 22nd, 2022 - 71 comments
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71 comments on “Open mike 22/05/2022 ”

  1. Landslide victory for Labor in Oz! Echoing the 2020 wipeout of the right in NZ.

    In times of stress and change, voters want a government which cares about them and puts their interests first, not a government that gives tax cuts to rich pricks!

    The left is on the ascendency here, in Oz and soon in the UK!

    Well done Albo and the Independent Teals!

    • RosieLee 1.1

      Hardly a landslide.

    • SPC 1.2

      Any Labour majority is enough to elbow aside ScoMo

      That Liberals have also been taken down by the Teal women (given how centrist liberal women in their caucus have been treated, it's about time) is a nice to have. As is the presence of Greens to remind Labour not to get too comfortable in government or complacent about what is required.

  2. SPC 2

    Not what one might expect. A support for Palestinians on Nakba in Tel Aviv – Palestinians flags etc (not something often allowed in East Jerusalem).

    Al-Shaykh Muwannis (Arabic: الشيخ مونّس), also Sheikh Munis, was a small Palestinian Arab village in the Jaffa Subdistrict of Mandatory Palestine, located approximately 8.5 kilometers from the center of Jaffa city in territory earmarked for Jewish statehood under the UN Partition Plan.

    The village was abandoned in March 1948 due to the threats of Jewish militias, two months before the 1948 Arab–Israeli war.

    Today, Tel Aviv University lies on part of the village land.

  3. aj 3

    From a recent Munk Debate: Russia-Ukraine War | Stephen Walt, John Mearsheimer v Michael McFaul, Radoslaw Sikorski, which can be found on Youtube.

    Watch Michael McFaul, the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, admit that diplomatic lies are “the real world” when he answers Stephen Walt’s question about NATO’s desire to eventually scrap Ukraine. Lies which caused a war and he's just laughing and gloating about it. The amorality of some humans…..

  4. Visubversa 4

    Bill Maher gets it (mostly) right. What he gets wrong is to conflate same sex attracted people (L G B) with the rest of the alphabet soup who are straight. And if gender is fluid – how is it innate?

    [link fixed]

    • SPC 4.1

      Just use the link on the You Tube video.

      • Anker 4.1.1

        "if this spikein Trans children nis natural, why is it regional?" On the different rates of trans kids in California versus Ohio. Maher.

        Good to see. Thanks for posting Visubversa

    • RedLogix 4.2

      Using the Australian election as an indication – it does not look pretty out there.

      But otherwise Maher nails it.

      • Anker 4.2.1

        Kathleen Deve was actually correct when she described transgender teens as being surgically mutilated and sterilized.

        Prescribing a drug that has been used to chemically castrate sex offenders to gender dysphoric teens (gender dysphoria is a mental health disorder, classified in the DSM5) is nothing short of a scandal as too is offering teenage girls double masectomies of their perfectly healththy breasts (not to mentioned hysterectomies) Also Jazz Jennings the poster child for teen trans had their penis amputated and the attempt to make a neo vagina wasn't succesful and Jazz has now had surgery no 4 to try and fix the problems the surgery has lead to.

        • RedLogix

          I could not agree with you more. Without any resort to exaggeration or outrage I confess that my blood runs a little cold thinking of teenagers of being sexually mutilated – often before they have any clue about their sexual future whatsoever.

          Nonetheless I can report the public discourse in Australia has been heavily captured by the trans lobby and Kathleen Deve's punishment at the poll last night is no surprise to me.

          I have to say I feel a real sense of unease and sadness at writing this.

    • weka 4.3

      Jaw dropping that he did that. Maybe the tide is going to turn in the US too. I fear for the backlash against GNC people, the whole thing was so unnecessary.

      • Visubversa 4.3.1

        Not just the GNC people – with the Transcult fastened on to the same sex attracted people's movement like giant ticks, and sucking the lifeblood from it in order to "rainbow wash" their demands for special treatment and legislation, the backlash will hit them as well.

      • Anker 4.3.2

        Actually I fear for the backlash too. And this will likely effect gay people as well as theose rare individuals who are trans.

  5. Mike the Lefty 5

    When I went to bed last night (about 10.30) the election result was still in the balance and I thought I would wake up this morning to a smug Scott Morrison chortling about how Australian voters had saved their country from chaos.

    But I was certainly surprised to see that Labour had won. When I went to bed things weren't looking too bright for Labour – particularly in Queensland and Tasmania. In the end it seems that Western Australia was the decisive mover for Labour.

    We can hope that the new Labour administration will be easier to work with than the former, but we probably should not expect miracles.

  6. weka 6

    Science, medical and systems people, can you please explain covid death reporting to me. I understand that it's deaths with covid, but I'm not clear how big a difference there is between unrelated deaths with covid, and covid as primary or secondary cause deaths.

    I'd also like a better understanding about why health systems do this. And why we don't also have reporting of deaths where those with unrelated causes aren't counted.

    • Belladonna 6.1

      Here's a link to the MoH website with the figures


      • 447 people have died with COVID-19 as the underlying cause of death. Of these, 439 died within 28 days of being reported as a case.
      • 231 people have died with COVID-19 as a contributing cause of death. Of these, 229 died within 28 days of being reported as a case.
      • 161 people, all of whom died within 28 days of being reported as a case, had a cause of death unrelated to COVID-19
      • 138 people who died within 28 days of being reported as a case have yet to be classified. In some instances, the cause of death can take longer to determined, including if it is being investigated by a coroner.

      My understanding is that the reporting is 'with Covid' as it is frequently difficult to determine the exact cause of death at the time; and the figures are subsequently reconciled (down).

      • weka 6.1.1

        thanks. That was my thinking too but it's been unclear and I have to wonder if it would be better to be more transparent about it.

        Looks like about 15% are not related.

        Is the unknown cause figure higher than usual?

        • Belladonna

          No, I don't think so. There are always complicated death situations (even without Covid being involved) where the actual cause of death isn't absolutely clear.
          Usually these will involve some secondary investigation.

          • Belladonna

            Oh, and I think that any potential death by violence is left as unclassified, until an autopsy (determining exact cause, because of potential court case – can't charge someone with murder, if the victim actually died of a heart attack), and often until the coroner has sat on the case.

            As an aside, this coronial inquiry can now take years, because of court system delays, much to the distress of the families involved.

  7. Anker 7

    Weka I don't have the link, but I read the number of deaths FROM covid in NZ is actually 500. Will look for link and post if I find it

    • weka 7.1

      See Belladonna's figures above. 977 deaths, 15% are not covid related but with covid. A similar amount of people died with covid but cause of death not yet determined.

      • Belladonna 7.1.1

        And quite a number of the ones with Covid as a contributing cause, will be pretty borderline (e.g. final stage cancer, but Covid probably contributed).

        This issue arises with the 'flu deaths each year. Quite a number attributed to 'flu, are in final stages of another condition, when they caught the 'flu and were unable to fight it off. Is it a 'flu death? Or a congestive heart failure death? Or a diabetes death? Or a cancer death?

        • weka

          I'm fine with someone with end stage cancer who gets covid as a contributory factor having their cause of death listed as both. So it shows up as a covid death.

          The issue for me was more that someone dying in car crash with covid was listed as a covid death. 15% doesn't seem so bad though all things considered (esp in countries where they will be undercounting cases and deaths).

          • Craig H

            That's an artifact of a standardized system where all violent and potentially suspicious deaths have to be investigated by a Coroner to determine cause of death. Until that determination is made, there is no legal cause of death for reporting purposes. Looks a bit odd when it intersects with notifiable disease reporting, but reporting deaths with notifiable diseases came about because of deliberate under-reporting of AIDS deaths in the USA in the 1980s at the behest of Reagan.

            • weka

              thanks! So complex reasons why we have the numbers we do in daily/weekly reporting

      • Anker 7.1.2

        Thanks Weka. Relying on my memory there!

  8. joe90 8

    Of course, 3 months and counting @$100's millions a day, nearly 30,000 troops and thousands of pieces of kit lost but we could've done the job in hours.

    Expectations lowered by the day.


  9. pat 10

    18 months (or so) for a NZ version of the 'Teals' to organise….will NZ follow the Australian example?

    • Poission 10.1


      • pat 10.1.1

        For similar reasons they formed in Australia I would imagine…dissatisfaction with the existing offerings.

        • Poission

          Australia is the largest exporter of FF after Russia and Saudi Arabia,they are also a major part of the current account surplus which funds Australias overseas debt of 1and a half trillion dollars.

          NZ has a current account deficit,and a 1/2 trillion gross overseas debt loading.

          The RBA ocr rate is 0.35,ours is 1.5 ( going to 2 this week) we also have a larger CPI value,which will blow up after the subsidy lifts.

          We have promises of tax cuts from the blue teams,a tax increase( income protection insurance) from the red team.

        • Belladonna

          Seems unlikely. NZ already has a fairly broad spectrum of political parties. And our MMP system encourages minor parties, rather than independents (who, afterall, have to get a majority of the vote in an electorate)

          It's really only people who already have a high profile within a party, and then go rogue, for whom this is a viable option (Peters, Anderton, Turia)

    • Graeme 10.2

      The Teal Independat model works very well to undermine a party or leader in a STV system, not so much under MMP. Here you'd need a party to set up and undermine one of the principle parties.

      We've already got ACT, Greens and Maori Party filling that role, probably not much scope for another. Various Christian focused entities have had a go as well with little success.

      However can see a grouping of corporate interests having a go a National over famers getting a free ride with emissions and resource management, especially if there's blowback from EU, China or USA over National's intention to support farmers, but not other industries

      • pat 10.2.1

        The stated origin of the Australian Teals is a metro liberal (especially woman) dissatisfaction with (among other things) climate policy….not likely supporters of ACT or the Maori Party, and the Greens as an option exist within Australian politics as well.

        Yes STV offers different opportunities however electorate seats within NZ still operate on FPP and if organised in a formal manner has the opportunity of MMP representation in the house, however even without Parliamentary success the opportunity to move the mainstream parties exists….as has been noted by many commentators the preeminence of the duopoly in Australian politics may have been irrevocably altered….both Labor and the Coalition received record low support.

        If you are a metro Liberal currently in NZ where is your natural home….anti diversity, fundamentalist National? Labour?….their support decreases by the day.

        • Belladonna

          Still have to get an outright majority in an electorate. Without STV, the chances are fairly minimal that any of the constituencies you've named would be sufficiently numerous to swing a potential Teal independent candidate over the line.

          • pat

            "However even without Parliamentary success the opportunity to move the mainstream parties exists….as has been noted by many commentators the preeminence of the duopoly in Australian politics may have been irrevocably altered….both Labor and the Coalition received record low support."

            Even in an MMP environment (perhaps especially) the opportunity to reduce the dominance of major parties exists…..particularly when the product dosnt do what the label says.

            • Belladonna

              Oz is an entirely different political environment, with STV favouring the 2 party duopoly.
              With MMP in NZ, minor parties form with a reasonable chance of making it into parliament. Our political environment favours minor parties, rather than independents.

              Our current situation (one single party with outright control) is an anomaly, and is unlikely to be repeated. MMP encourages coalition government (in the political sense, rather than the Australian usage!)

              As I commented above, it's highly unlikely in a NZ FPP race within an electorate that any independent is going to get a majority. The STV situation in OZ, makes that outcome much more likely.

              Without Parliamentary success, you're basically just a ginger group, and unlikely to have any significant impact on the major political parties. The Australian Teals required parliamentary success (as in being elected) to be in a position to (possibly) hold the balance of power.

              • lprent

                The Australian Teals required parliamentary success (as in being elected) to be in a position to (possibly) hold the balance of power.

                The exemplar is that neither One Nation nor Clive Palmer’s private party (whatever it is currently called) managed to get MPs in the house of representatives, they don’t have any. It looks like One Nation is about to lose their senate seat as well, so they have little ability to do much at all.

                It is also notable that neither of those supposedly insurrectionist party even managed to get gain support in an election that was largely about the voters sticking it to the tow major parties. The support went instead to independent moderates who were just sick of the major parties of government fudging their duties to govern, falling down on climate change and corruption in the political systems.

                It was also notable that (I think) that all of the winning teal candidates are professional women from various parts of the working life. Bearing in mind the sexual barbarism that has become apparent in the Aussie political system, that was a rather pointed hint that the parliamentary parties needed a pointed political stick stuffed straight up the orifices of boys only political establishment.

              • pat

                "Oz is an entirely different political environment, with STV favouring the 2 party duopoly."

                "it's highly unlikely in a NZ FPP race within an electorate that any independent is going to get a majority. The STV situation in OZ, makes that outcome much more likely."

                So does STV favour the duopoly or the independents?

                There is one aspect that enhances the Teals possible success in Australia that dosnt exist here…compulsory voting.

                18% chose not to here last time.

        • Graeme

          As Belladonna says, you've got be the highest polling candidate in an electorate to pull it off, being second could have the opposite outcome.

          Say a Teal stands in Epsom, pulling votes from Seymour and the National candidate, oooops, Labour candidate polls highest….

          Works in STV because 2nd preference goes to your mate that you're pulling votes from, or another preferred candidate, not someone diametrically opposed to your view.

          Closest we've come to this would be Bob Jones in 1984 where he split the Muldoon National vote.

          • Belladonna

            A more recent example (pre-Swarbrick) was Auckland Central – where Nikki Kaye won on multiple occasions, despite the Labour+Green vote outnumbering her share.

          • pat

            Highest polling…not 50% +1 as required under STV…indeed in Epsom Seymour has a large majority with 47%

            Epsom could fall to a 'Teal' candidate by seizing half of Acts and Nationals candidate support and still outpoll Labour comfortably….and remembering the party vote still remains.

            • Graeme

              There's also the question if there are any potential victims?

              Luxon? Wonder how vulnerable he would be on his personal views in that electorate?

              My example of Epsom was hypothetical as it was one where a sort of even four way split could happen

              • pat

                There are always potential victims…its in the eye of the beholder.

                Potentially any electorate could develop multiple splits, just because historically the two major parties traditionally dominate votes dosnt make it a requirement, that is the point.

                Perhaps the 'Teals' success in Australia will trigger such…and perhaps not, but i think it reasonable to observe that the current dissatisfaction with the existing options certainly suggests something is likely to change.

        • lprent

          …the Greens as an option exist within Australian politics as well.

          A point was raised on something that I read today on abc.net.au today that the Greens did really well in urban seats in Queensland – because there weren’t any Teal candidates put up in those electorates. The voting pattern was corresponding quite different to the other two large states.

          • pat

            I expect the main reason Teal candidates didnt stand in Queensland was the target demographic was pretty thin on the ground…however if that pattern plays out here next year the Greens will be expecting a significant surge in support….it dosnt appear to be showing in the polls as yet.

            • Poission

              In Melbourne the Greens (incumbent) had a 12% swing to labour against them.

              Maybe also a bit of change whoever is there.

              Also there was a demographic change since covid with depopulation

              • pat

                New Labor candidate?

                • Poission

                  New candidate union,large inner city depopulation,and WFH has reduced inner city spend,sort of like Auckland central.

                  • pat

                    A lot of that depopulation will be temp migrants (students etc) that were ineligible but some i guess will also be due to covid…apparently quite a bit of movement for lifestyle reasons due to lockdowns.

                    The similarity I have reported from contacts there is a dissatisfaction with politics in general….and the perceived solutions are likely to be similar.

                    • Poission

                      There was a lot of internal migration from central to provincial centre's following covid constraints being lifted (60000 from Melbourne) they had a hard lockdown.

                      A lot of public perception on political solutions now is they are not unique,but copy and pasted from someone else's song sheet eg the narrative is the same,where as circumstances may differ locally.

                • Poission

                  Incumbent is the Green leader.

            • lprent

              it dosnt appear to be showing in the polls as yet.

              I am not sure it will. We haven't had the ongoing drought, fire, flood and just painful changes in weather and climate cycles that has become so evident to Australians with any kind of memory.

              It has highlighted what is any report on probable effects of climate change in Aussie has said for the last 40 years that I have been reading them. Direct experience tends to educate more people than theoretical models.

              NZ is blessed with a narrow island land mass where nowhere is more than 100 kilometers from large oceans and seas. The water mass and types of currents buffers the direct experience away from citizens in NZ because it buffers the temperature extremes and even most of the rainfall variation.

              However it won't buffer the sea level rises that are probable between 2030 and 2100 – which currently look to me to be likely to be considerably faster and larger than the IPCC upper limits. Most of that will impact NZ first in water and some transport systems.

              Things like having housing in stupid locations will go first. But that will be buffered by insurance rates. It is already getting a lot more expensive to get seashore housing insurance or riverside insurance.

              Probably water systems will be the first wakeup call like the aussies have been having.

              I don't think that the resilience that 3 waters is meant to provide for essential systems is going to happen fast enough. Whatever lame arse stupidity National will characteristically use to replace 3 waters as a political band-aid obviously has no chance of being more then a extender of a small fuckup into a much larger one. That is their usual method of operation.

              However when the sewerage systems die or the storm water systems backup because of sea level rises or plains farming suddenly find their ground water, rivers and creeks are going saline. Not to mention simple flooding as waterways outflows to the sea start getting backed up because of coastal erosion and larger waves as well as actual sea level rise. Then a lot of voters will become greener as they get experienced in the effects of climate change.

              But of course so of course will all political parties. I am pretty sure that is going to happen starting now in Aussie.

              • pat

                No we havnt had the bush fires or floods to the scale of Australia (or the temps) but I think we have had enough 'weather' events in the past couple of years that are causing wider concern…..and the frequency certainly keeps it front of mind for voters…as do the appeals for support and associated costs.

              • Poission

                Are the convergent systems ie climate drivers different from 2010-2011?

                The attractors are preferred states ie La nina,Southern annular mode,IOD.

                All have the same properties (read sign) of 2010-2011.Long term persistence is well described.



                • lprent

                  Not really different as a patterns so far (I really hope we don't see pattern changes).

                  To me, what appears to be changing is the intensity of the weather generated and the frequency of events within the overall patterns.

                  It is what you'd expect when there is increasing energy in the climate system. Moisture gets picked up from warm oceans at a different rate. There is more energy to move it with. This can lead to larger dumps of water at different locations or water not dropping where it used to. Or simply different air masses moving faster and longer. Or increasing numbers of topical cyclones, moving on longer tracks.

                  • Poission

                    During the 2010-2012 La Nina regime,globally sea levels fell due to more rain falling on land,especially Australia where there was also a decrease in the co2 airborne fraction due to the increase of biomass in Asia and Australia.

                    Locally in oz there was an increase in sea level ( east coast) due to thermal expansion and increased flooding on flood plains,which is expected (there was an article from graziers in inland oz who said they needed a months supply during the wet season)

                    Australia ( 2021) also has the coolest temperatures since 2012 (the last La Nina regime shift) so heavy rain is expected in the -ve ENSO system,and extended droughts in the +ve (el nino) system, do we tend to over extend correlation to expected climate regimes?

                    • lprent

                      do we tend to over extend correlation to expected climate regimes?

                      Sure – everyone does that. There are timescale issues with all climate events for humans. We usually don’t live long enough to see them. However that is changing for current generations.

                      However aussies also looking at the extent of fires in the last fire season, which were unprecedented in the number of sites and areas across the last century. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushfires_in_Australia. But also that the majority of the eastern states populations have now seen several rounds of bad fire seasons, that their parents, grandparents, and great grand-parents did not.

                      Just as a matter of context about human time scales, I’m 62. My last great grand parent was died when I was in my 20s, she was born in the 1890s. I knew and talked to all of my grandparents when I was an adult. They were born in the 1920s. When I was doing earth sciences I spent time talking to them all about NZ as it was and what changed.

                      Queensland isn’t exactly unused to flooding. But they’re just into the start of their fifth flooding this year (just reading the flood warning).

                      Even when you contrast this with the 2010-11 eastern flooding, the 2022 flooding to date looks like it has already exceeded every flooding season in Australian history in terms of the type of rain that triggers it. It has barely started.

                      The droughts are the same when you look over the 20th century onwards (the 19th century data is a bit eccentric).

                      I did like the future projections. That is the shortest summary I have seen of their projections. I presume it is out of the IPCC reports from the wording.

                      Australia’s national science research agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), states that on account of projected future climate change, hot days will become more frequent and hotter (very high confidence), extreme rainfall events will become more intense (high confidence), and the time in drought is projected to increase over southern Australia (high confidence). Seasonal-average rainfall changes will vary across Australia: in southern mainland Australia, winter and spring rainfall is projected to decrease (high confidence), but increases are projected for Tasmania in winter (medium confidence), while in eastern and northern Australia in the near future (to 2030), natural variability is anticipated to predominate over trends due to greenhouse gas emissions.[56] However even if climate change does not result in decreased rainfall in eastern and northern Australia over the period to 2030, the perceived severity of drought (in terms of low soil moisture) would increase on account of the higher evaporative demand resulting from the projected overall rise in average temperatures.

                      The CSIRO has a pretty good set of models for Australia, that have been pretty accurate in projections since the mid-1990s when I first looked at them. It is a short baseline (less than a century of accurate widespread data) because of the paucity of accurate data on Australian climate. This is a good place to drill down from.

  10. Stuart Munro 11

    There's an interesting interview on Stuff that sheds some light on contemporary immigration policy:

    What the plantation economy does, he says, is bring the labourers in, and gives them just enough of an education so they can follow orders and do the basic arithmetic required of the job.

    Small wonder then that most do not qualify for residency except by dodgy workarounds. The BAU of immigration as managed by both parties has much to answer for.

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