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Open mike 22/08/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 22nd, 2021 - 77 comments
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77 comments on “Open mike 22/08/2021 ”

  1. Jester 1

    It's hard to feel sorry for this kind and caring bloke when he falls for virtually the same scam so many times. As they say, "A fool and his money are easily parted".

    The scammers have no moral compass.

    West Coast beekeeper turns Brazilian drug mule in sophisticated scam – NZ Herald

  2. Jenny how to get there 2

    Why are New Zealand warships taking part in American war games in the South China Sea?
    Why is US Vice President Harris going to Vietnam?
    Is it this all part of US plans to shore up regional support for their next war?

    It seems that it is.

    Should we really be taking part in it?

    When will we ever learn?

    The Korean war should have been our the last US war of choice that we supported.
    But no.

    You would think, that our experience in Vietnam would have taught us a lesson?
    But again no.
    We just had to send troops to the US bloodfest in Afghanistan.
    And we are still doing it.


    America’s Coming War With China

    Conflict is both undesirable and imprudent, but appears inevitable given our current leadership.

    Douglas MacGregor – The New Conservative, June 8, 2021

    …..If the political purpose of a new Pacific war is to change Chinese behavior externally or internally—to render China incapable of resisting American political demands—it is worth noting that China is not Imperial Japan in 1941. Japan’s economy was roughly one-tenth the size of the U.S. economy, and it still required three years of hard fighting by U.S. forces to redeem America’s ignominious defeat at Pearl Harbor and in the Philippines….

    …..China’s economy is also nearly the size of the American economy and, in contrast to Imperial Japan, Beijing has generally avoided armed conflict with its neighbors despite a number of disputes. In fact, the dramatic success of the regional comprehensive economic partnership—which creates a free trade agreement between China and the Asia-Pacific nations of Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam—has made Washington’s notion of building an anti-Chinese alliance very difficult, if not impossible.

    As American diplomats are rapidly discovering, none of these states really wants to be caught in the middle of a conflict between China and the United States.


    Are regional states, like New Zealand, reluctant to be caught up in this conflict as this writer claims?
    If so;
    Then how much back room arm twisting and secret threats did it take the US, to get New Zealand to send warships to take part in thier war games in the South China Sea?

    Or did we go willingly once more into the breach?

    When will we ever learn?

    • Adrian Thornton 2.1

      "The Korean war should have been our the last US war of choice that we supported.
      But no.You would think, that our experience in Vietnam would have taught us a lesson?
      But again no.
      We just had to send troops to the US bloodfest in Afghanistan.
      And we are still doing it.
      When will we ever learn?"

      Great question, my take is that we (as country) won’t, or more accurately can’t and will never learn any military lessons from history while we are still governed by people (and enabled by all MSM).who won’t even acknowledge that the endless growth economic system that they all adhere to like members of some insane death cult is literally burning the planet before their eyes.

      These people are not the free thinkers that we need to extract us from climate change and endless pointless wars, they are just the same old stodgy minded thinkers from yesterday that have proven that they have no capacity to take on board new bold transformative , progressive ideas..let alone come up any themselves.

      Watching these slow minded, slack jawed idiots jump on the this new US lead anti-China campaign like lemmings off a fucking cliff has been depressing for me to be honest …”when will we learn”..not any time soon by the looks of it.

      The only hope we have is that there is a whole generation coming through right now, who have huge student loans, no hope of ever owning their own home (so no mortgages , which as we all know kills off the revolutionary spirit faster than any other single thing)..are being gouged relentlessly by boomers for rent every single week of their lives and to top it all off,are being left with a planet on fire!

      They literally have no skin in the game of freemarket liberalism, they have nothing to lose, which is exactly the right place to be and to start from when it comes to throwing out the old and starting something new, let’s all hope that their brave new world also sees through the mountains of bullshit that keeps moronically pushing that old troupe, endless war is just a human condition.

    • Populuxe1 2.2

      I suspect it has more to do with the fact that we have a vested interest given that our main shipping route to Japan and Taiwan is straight through the South China Sea, and we have a longstanding policy of supporting international maritime law and UN resolutions vis a vis The South China Sea Arbitration (The Republic of Philippines v. The People's Republic of China) 2013 etc.

      • Jenny how to get there 2.2.1

        • McFlock

          Short answer as to why that perspective has always been bullshit, from corner stores to geopolitics: folks you trade with would often prefer to take what you have for free.

          • Jenny how to get there


            22 August 2021

            Short answer as to why that perspective has always been bullshit, from corner stores to geopolitics: folks you trade with would often prefer to take what you have for free.

            Let me get this straight. According to you; We are protecting our trade routes to China, to stop China from taking our stuff for free, en-route, before it gets to China?

            You've got to be kidding, that's just so many colours of crazy.

            But OK. I'll play.

            For a start it would be piracy.

            Military ships, Chinese crews, trained for armed takeover of freighters on the high seas.

            What's the ROI on that?

            If China really wanted to take our stuff for free, wouldn't it be cheaper for them, to just not pay us for it, after we had delivered it?

            The worry is not that China want our stuff for free, the real worry is that they might not want it at all.

            New Zealand's number one export to China is milk powder

            Australia's number one export to China is iron ore.

            China’s five-year plan to slash Australian iron ore imports

            Michael Smith – Financial Review, May 22, 2021

            The Chinese government has drafted a five-year plan to slash its reliance on iron ore from Australia and other countries by almost half by investing in new mines offshore and seeking alternative supplies from Russia, Myanmar, Kazakhstan and Mongolia…..


            NZ tops list of China dairy import rejects

            Henry Acland – RNZ, 10 February 2015

            Figures on a Chinese consumer website show New Zealand has topped a list of countries that had their milk products rejected by China last year.

            The website says, according to customs data, nearly 14 percent of the total number of dairy products rejected between October 2013 and November 2014 were from this country.

            The Shipin Anquan Kuaisu Jiance site did not specify why 60 batches from New Zealand were rejected, but said generally products from around the world had been sent back or destroyed because of illegal use of chemicals, expired due-by-date or excessive e-coli bacteria counts…..


            • McFlock

              Vietnam, the Phillipines, and Indonesia all trade with China. That doesn't mean they don't need to actively defend what they see as their territory from China, particularly in relation to the South China Sea. Including international sea lanes.

              No major power is benevolent. The trick for smaller nations is to utilise their own defence capabilities and international alliances to make trade more attractive than occupation.

        • Populuxe1

          Remind me how that's working out for Australia again?

    • Ad 2.3

      Are you capable of attempting answers your own rhetorical questions?

      Is there any other block quote available other than the most militant commentary one could find outside of the Hoover Institute?

      What are the views of the Prime Minister on this that you could find on Scoop over the past two Parliamentary terms?

      Does New Zealand have a Defence White Paper you could actually quote some local reality from?

      What is the stated New Zealand position on intervention in this geographical area that you can find on the MFAT website?

      Would one prefer lobbing really softball questions to oneself because actually acting in the world is hard?

      What is reading anyway?

      Why think?

    • RedLogix 2.4

      Beijing has generally avoided armed conflict with its neighbors despite a number of disputes.

      Because they can't. You're mistaking an 'inability to act' for 'peaceful intentions'. The premise of this article you quote is around the question of a US -China war. Neither nation is interested in such a thing – the Chinese cannot project power beyond their immediate borders, and the US is absolutely not going to put boots on the ground in China.

      China faces a number of hard geopolitical constraints and while the US media likes to overestimate it's opponents, this doesn't change the realities on the ground or at sea so much. There are at least four critical problems they face:

      1. Their geography means they cannot project power easily. On land they face the Himalayas or the vast open grasslands that both present impossible logistic challenges. To their south mountainous jungles and their access to the global oceans is constrained by hostile archipelago neighbours.
      2. It may be the 2nd largest economy, but per capita remains about 77th in the world. And most of the new wealth is concentrated in the large coastal cities. As a result it's one of the most unequal societies on earth and faces considerable internal dissent. It's no coincidence that the greatest repressions are happening in the impoverished interior provinces.
      3. It's rapidly ageing society that is rapidly running out of the young people necessary to sustain internal consumption led growth. Worse still it's rapidly losing it's labour price advantage over the rest of the world. China will not remain the 'workshop of the world' forever – that title is rapidly moving to places like Mexico, Malaysia, Vietnam and India. Supply chains move about all the time. As a result China may well become the first great nation to become old before it gets rich – and no-one knows what might happen then.
      4. The entire growth of modern China has been based on it's ability to trade with the rest of the world – for both raw input materials and access to markets. And it controls none of the pre-conditions necessary for this to happen. It doesn't control access to the oceans, to it's markets nor to the rules based order that enables these things to happen. The CCP leadership well understands this, hence the entire BRI initiative that can only be read as an attempt to create it's own alternative system that it does control. How well this works out remains to be seen – personally I think the CCP will expend a lot of resources for not much return on the project.

      For all these reasons I think there will be no great power war between the US and China – with the caveat of an attempted invasion of Taiwan. (That would almost certainly fail – amphibious invasions are incredibly hard to pull off and Taiwan is very well prepared for this possibility.) The PRC media and diplomats perform much posturing, but their actions are exceedingly cautious just were the Soviets before them – their Admirals are not fools and can count ships. As with the Cold War – all the US has to do is create an alliance to contain the CCP and – wait.

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    Something both DB Brown and RedLogix might enjoy 🙂

    "Scientists are studying clover in urban settings all over the world because it is rapidly evolving to cope with the stresses of urban life."

    White Clover Can Be an Annoying Weed. It May Also Hold Secrets to Urban Evolution.


    The article requires subscribing before reading, so I didn't, but the headline was enough to make me think about "the way forward" being an amalgam of naturalism and science, the old and the new, or whatever 🙂

    • ianmac 3.1

      Might help Robert.

      White clover makes for a good test species because it has already displayed the stamina to survive in climates from Norway to southern India, Dr. Johnson said. The plant also helps nourish soil with nitrogen and serves as an important source of nectar for bees and other pollinators.

      The clover adapts to colder climates by losing its ability to make hydrogen cyanide or HCN, a toxin the plant produces to protect itself from predators, like snails, insects and voles, and in the country, cows, sheep and goats. The number of plants that produce hydrogen cyanide increases with every mile away from the city center, the study found, with small cities showing the same effect as big ones.

      White clover that grew in an urban environment was less likely to make hydrogen cyanide, Dr. Johnson said. Although cities can be warmer than the countryside, the heat and human activity result in less snow than in rural areas. Without snow to insulate the plants from the cold, the clover would poison itself if it could not give up its ability to make hydrogen cyanide, Dr. Johnson said.

      • DB Brown 3.1.1

        I was confused right through the second and third paragraphs till we got to: snow to insulate the plants.

        I'd be more interested in some thinking around/examination of variance in their microbial symbionts, and their contribution to the hologenome leading to a highly adaptive supraorganism.

        Honestly, I wonder who gives half these people their doctorates. But then, multi-disciplinary thinking is still more a catchphrase than a thing.

      • Robert Guyton 3.1.2

        Thanks for that detail, ianmac; very interesting indeed. At first, counter-intuitive: why would a plant let go of a protective process (making hydrogen cyanide)? Realising that the herbivores that like clover don't like cities was the moment…
        Of course, I may have got that wrong 🙂

        • RedLogix

          Yes it's a shame the entire article is behind a paywall – it would make for an interesting read.

          While my expertise and natural bias lies on the industrial side of the equation that constitutes human welfare – I've always tried to give full credit to the 'agricultural' side as well. There is much to learn about both and much I think both can contribute to each other if each was willing to set aside their suspicions of the other.

          • Robert Guyton

            2 sides of a coin but there's only one coin 🙂

            • RedLogix

              Perhaps the one lesson that nature has to offer above all is just how subtle and powerful the process of evolution is. In just about every field of human endeavour I can think of – the principles of organic processes can be applied.

              More than anything else, evolution is a balanced process. It both conserves and innovates at the same time. It both creates and destroys, and perhaps most fascinating of all – how the old must give way to the new in order to reveal the potential hidden within it.

              • Robert Guyton

                "In just about every field of human endeavour I can think of – the principles of organic processes can be applied."



                • RedLogix

                  Less so – in the hierarchy of the sciences math, physics and chem lie underneath biology – which is the layer at which evolution appears.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    That's a point on which we have differing views. Why should evolution only apply to biology?

                    • RedLogix

                      @ Robert

                      I think you've misread me – biology is the layer at which evolution appears, but as DB alludes to, it's principles are by no means limited to biology – they build upward from there.

                  • DB Brown

                    Energy, both ambient and biologically available, drives evolution. Higher temperature allows for higher metabolic rates using less energy, while total biologically available energy leads to larger population sizes. Larger population sizes use larger range sizes which contribute more geographic variation leading to further environmental selection pressures. More food = more young. More young = more variance. Higher populations and temperatures both lead to more mutation events, some of those become adaptations to selection pressures.

                    Continuing in this vein new species may arise on the fringe of large populations where sub-populations adaptations to variance in environment may eventually separate them (geographically, spatially or temporally) from interbreeding.

                    As redlogix alludes to, there is much for man to learn from evolution. It's a numbers game and breakthroughs come when large numbers are challenged by variance in the environment. While random mutations underpin much of this, selection is not random, it is driven by the environment.

                    Iterative adjustment to environmental pressure is the norm. Failure to adapt may be a death sentence. Iteration for the sake of business (e.g. new phone or car model) mimics evolution but is simply wasted resources. A population wasting resources to hoard for specific individuals decreases their chances of survival. All species are limited to the energy available within their range. As we consider ourselves thinkers, resources should go to adaptation to environment first, propagation of new generations second, and getting fat last.

                    Evolution is often described as an arms race (it often is) or survival of the fittest (it can be that too), but the real deal for survival is symbiosis. We're all packed with bacteria that entrain our immune systems, and issues with our microbiomes development can have profound results on human health and development. Humans too, could become symbionts – to the planet. That is our means of survival.

                    Clover not only uses chemistry to protect itself, but biology (via chemical signals). Plants trade with microbes to get (some of) the ingredients for the cyanide. Clover is clearly well adapted with massive range ( = massive populations) and both fungal and microbial symbionts involved. It is highly adaptive at least partially because it is well connected.

                    The hologenome of clover (combined genome of the plant and its symbionts) is greater than merely its own genome. The supraorganism (combo of plant and symbionts that act in concert as one organism) is far greater than the plant alone.

                    The old iteration of leaders (warmongers, capitalists) are killing us. Humanity must evolve as symbionts or be significantly diminished.

                    • RedLogix

                      While random mutations underpin much of this, selection is not random, it is driven by the environment.

                      Indeed as the other post on globalisation attempts to outline – the ground is shifting under us both politically and economically in ways most people are not thinking about.

                    • Incognito

                      Very interesting comment, thanks.

                      Two words come to mind: proliferation and differentiation.

          • opium


            [If you want to cut and paste you have to 1) make it clear it’s a quote and 2) link – weka]

    • solkta 3.2

      White clover is at the top of my weed list. Every bee sting i have ever had has been the fault of white clover. No matter how short you cut or not it it will always set flowers low to the ground. Bees will feed not only on these flowers but also underneath making a landmine.

      Red clover on the other hand is my no1 friendly. Flowers set on the end of long stems and bees are not threatened by being brushed against. There are so many benefits to red clover i would have to write a post to cover.

      (note that red clover will die off if mowed low and often as this cuts the crown off the plant)

      • Robert Guyton 3.2.1

        When you combine white clover with shoes, the incidence of bee-stings drops significantly 🙂

        Have you seen crimson clover?

        Beautiful flower.

      • Brigid 3.2.2

        Damn those bees eh?

        They should be banned

      • McFlock 3.2.3

        If I ever join the landed gentry I'd love to experiment with moss instead of grass/clover. Probably as labour-intensive in different ways, but I've always liked the look and feel of it.

        • solkta

          Moss likes a damp environment so you might not want a property to suit. Lawn camomile would give you a similar effect. Would be a lot of work keeping the weeds out, but would smell great when you mow it.

          • McFlock

            that also looks pretty good.
            As for moss, yeah it has its downsides. For some reason I just really like it.

          • DB Brown

            Chamomile lawn is fantastic. Not sure of the maintenance issues, you'd want to get it relatively weedless – but it looks good, feels good, and releases nice smells. A man who built Flax Lodge on Great Barrier had a chamomile lawn in his moon well. What a great place to hang out of an evening.

  4. joe90 4

    Hoo boy…

  5. Herodotus 5

    From family and friends who are deemed essential workers. We are only in our 5th day of lockdown, and I already see and hear of burnout. Sure those testing and admin jabs are doing a great job, but how long can they continue at this pace? And there are few in reserve that can be brought up to give these valuable people a respite. The same for supermarket workers, petrol station attendants, hospital workers etc There will be a need soon for them to have a break for their well being but financial stress, doing their bit for society etc may preclude this. I hope that those in senior positions are thinking of these and others and do not have expectations that current work outputs will continue. And we all can do our bit by showing our gratitude: a thank you, especially if they are part of our bubble.

    • Cricklewood 5.1

      Alot of the essential services are running low on staff with standdowns etc, given lockdown looks to be extending im going to apply for one of the many temp positions at the local supermarket gets me out of the house, helps keep shelves stocked and hopefully offers the chance for someone to have a shift off.

    • I Feel Love 5.2

      I feel for those testing & medical guys who come home after working their arses off to reports of shambles & incompetence.

    • RedLogix 5.3

      Another odd consequence of lockdowns is the courier drivers find themselves working even longer days delivering alcohol and flour (of all damn things) to domestic addresses in locations they rarely have to service and often not easy to find.

      They typically get up at 4am and find themselves delivering stuff at 8pm in the dark to people who then whine about them being late. High burden, low margin work.

      • I Feel Love 5.3.1

        Thanks RL, it's the kind of work I'm involved in & we're flat tack! The best thing is people are happy to see us & being really positive, but I get annoyed at seeing people gathering but then I guess I'm lucky because I get to do something, keep active.

        Good on you Cricklewood!

        • RedLogix

          Courier and delivery people generally put up with the negatives because the work itself allows them some degree of personal autonomy that most other jobs don't offer. And they get to go places and interact with lots of different people – it can be kind of cool in this respect.

          But the burn-out rate is pretty damned high, not all that many last more than 3 -4 years at it. As ‘contractors’ they’ve fall into an industrial relations grey zone that no govt has shown much interest in looking at.

      • Alan 5.3.2

        We have two friends who are couriers, they prefer working during lock downs, no traffic

    • logie97 5.4

      What can we do …?

      At our local country supermarket this afternoon, as we were about to scan in, a middle aged couple rushed through. The young doorman politely requested, "Excuse me, please sign in." The response was, "HAVEN'T GOT TIME, we're in a hurry!" And they rushed into the store. I believe scanning/loggingin is to be made mandatory within a week, I guess this sort of behaviour is going to cause some real issues (in fact is already happening) for the poor individuals on the doors everywhere.

  6. dv 6

    Covid 19 coronavirus Delta outbreak: Delta raises 'big questions' about NZ's future approach – Chris Hipkins

    I Wonder if sometime in the future the non vaccinated could be refused hospital treatment to help relieve the strain,

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.1

      When health resources are available the unvaccinated would not be turned away. When resources become limiting their vaccination status might contribute to triage, which is unfortunate but logical.

  7. Reality 7

    A lot of pressure was put on the government last year and earlier this year by the opposition, business leaders, Hosking/Hawkesby & mates, Plan B attention seekers, universities wanting overseas students here, people wanting to holiday overseas (understandable for those wanting to see family) and farming/horticulture wanting workers.

    Those same people are all rather quiet now that we are in lockdown again. Have those same people been doing their scanning every time they have gone into any premises? The contact tracing now having to be done could have been quicker if they had been doing that.

  8. Morrissey 8

    What's a more absurd oxymoron than "military intelligence" or "NewstalkZB: Tune Your Mind"?

    Answer: "Washington Post fact-checker."

  9. KSaysHi 9

    Stalking is still an issue in NZ, when it should be a priority for lawmakers. Who is more vulnerable than a stalking victim? Don't tell me murder victims. They are already dead.

    English police have the power to take out stalking protection orders without forcing the victim through a lengthy court process. It puts the responsibility for monitoring behaviour onto police, rather than victims, Towns says.

    That’s something that’s lacking in New Zealand, she adds.

    The onus is always on victims. To gather evidence – even when the law isn’t there to prosecute. To make police reports – so if the worst happens at least there’s a paper trail. To get a protection order.

    Protection orders are often the only avenue open to people being stalked by their partner or ex-partner.

    They are usually granted through the Family Court. Their purpose is to protect the victim from contact or violence from the person named on the order.

    But to get one there has to be evidence of a risk of serious harm, Women’s Refuge policy adviser Natalie Thorburn explains.

    “Given that there’s often very little evidence of the stalking, and that individual episodes of stalking are only harmful because of the backdrop of abusive behaviour, it’s a hard threshold to meet.”


  10. dv 10

    In an unusual move the PM has said she will not attend the press conference today as to protect the eyes of some reporters.

  11. SPC 11

    There are testing kits that give a result in 15 minutes. They can be used in homes, schools and workplaces.

    They are not as accurate as PCR but useful enough and would take pressure off such testing resources.

    They were in big demand last year and again now that vaccinated people are being infected.

    Why are we not importing these?

    Even an Oz company is making them.


  12. Adrian 13

    The main reason may well be that any video or still of saliva testing has hoik running all over the outside of the receptacle. Superspreader anyone?

  13. McFlock 14

    Apparently, farmers protested by sounding their horns on their farms.

    Thus creating the philosophical and editorial question if a fool makes a noise in the middle of nowhere and nobody is around to hear, do they really need a photo-op?

  14. KJT 15

    I did read the post. "Preconceptions"?

    I find so much that is just plain wrong in your post, starting with "It did not seek to expand it's territory" for one, that I would need a whole series of posts to debunk it.

    Whether or not I'm happy with the end of the "American century" is irrelevant. They USA is ending it anyway. It is their own fault, but not because they are "retreating from the world". Their dependence on manufacturing and economic support from China will preclude that.

    Unless they indulge in another one of the huge social enterprises that have repeatedly saved their otherwise dysfunctional economy. War!

    We just had a graphic illustration of how the USA,s misconceptions and view of themselves is a false narrative, in Afghanistan.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  15. KJT 16

    Legacy of failure in Afghanistan started in 1979, not 2001 – Asia Times

    "It is also a story of miscalculation and hubris, one that resonates rather profoundly this week as American soldiers, diplomats, intelligence officials and many thousands of Afghans flee the Taliban’s assault on Kabul."

  16. pat 17

    "The group fitted 35 old CRT televisions, LED monitors and printers with GPS devices of a special make. Out of this sample the team quickly focused on the fate of three LCD screens dropped at Officeworks storefronts around the Brisbane metro area.

    Hayley Palmer, BAN’s chief operating officer, was on the team that followed where they went afterwards. As the signals left the country, Palmer, her nine-month-old and a colleague tracked the monitors to a warehouse in Hong Kong and then on to an illegal dump-yard in a rural part of Thailand where they talked their way inside."


    I expect NZ faces the same challenge, and has the same lack of solution.

  17. weka 18

    Seymour being a loose unit, ffs.

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