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Open mike 22/02/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 22nd, 2011 - 57 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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57 comments on “Open mike 22/02/2011”

  1. neoleftie 2

    Mr Key said he was “not going to make excuses” and acknowledged “the matter should have been handled better by everybody, including myself”.

    “The whole thing has been sloppy and frankly the public deserves better.”

    either a very clever strategy or he’s really a ‘boy scout’?

  2. Pascal's bookie 3

    It’s Presidents’ Day today, there in Americcy, when they celebrate and commemorate their secular gods and ancestor spirits.

    It’s a movable feast, in the style they prefer, with this one falling on the third monday of the second month in each year.

    This date partially relates to the earthly incarnation date of George Washington, the Originator (born on a Feb the 22nd) , and that of Abe Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, (born on a Feb the 12th).

    Abe is of more interest to me today, though I’ll note in passing that these two are the lords undisputed of the pantheon, war gods both, and exemplify all sorts of interesting shit, mythic character wise.

    Abe’s role as patron and Totem of the Grand Old Party has fallen away somewhat, due to reasons of electoral stategy, his essensce has been reduced and somewhat confused with that of Washington. Which is a shame, because they are distinct figures, and Abe is in many ways the more important in my view, which I readily admit, doesn’t count for anything.

    On this day though, and thinking of Wisconsin, this, from Abe’s 2nd ‘State of the Union’ encyclical, (a phrase that is nicely apposite, uncanny, how these things work out):

    “Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital producing mutual benefits.”

    Now obviously, this sounds positively kenyan these days, which is heresy and agin the intent of the founders, but the ancients are not as they are portrayed , quite often.

    But that is not all, oh no that is not all.

    For a longer thing, which I won’t quote, which is still very relevant:

    you could do worse, in trying to understand the US today, than to read Abe’s Cooper Union speech, which regarded the problem a democratic republic has, with a minority that reneges on the deal.

    He’s a god for a reason, and war is the least of it, or rather the unfortunate symptom:

    http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/cooper.htm

    captcha: ‘symbols’, it knows, it knows.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      this sounds positively kenyan these days

      I’d be interested to know more about the links between Lincoln and the African continent 😛

    • Mac1 3.2

      I was in Manchester three years ago, in the year celebrating 200 years of the abolition of slavery BTW, when I noticed a statue of Abe Lincoln in a cenyral square. Interest piqued, I read the statement on the plinth.

      This recorded a letter sent to Lincoln from a large meeting of the Manchester guilds during the Civil War which encouraged Lincoln in his fight against chattel slavery even though there was huge deprivation in Manchester caused by the North’s blockade of Southern cotton, and his reply.

      Two things stand out. Firstly, the altruistic generosity and grasp of issues by the workers of Manchester, and secondly, the regard with which Lincoln was and still is held.

      Thanks, Pascal’s bookie, for that link and comment.

  3. Todd 4

    Phil u recently asked David Peter Farrar whether he on-sold the information Kiwiblog has been gathering through their Local Shared Object (SLO) cookie hack. To which DPF answered:

    [DPF: No – no one at all. And I have no idea what an slo cookie is]

    I’m interested to know why the Kiwiblog SLO cookie stopped deploying soon after I mentioned it here:

    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2011/02/20/farrar-a-loser/

    A post David was actively monitoring. If the KB SLO cookie is innocuous and legal (which it isn’t), they would not have stopped its deployment into visiting computers.

    I’m not saying people shouldn’t visit Kiwiblog, just that you should protect your system from the KB (currently offline 22/02/11) SLO cookie hack beforehand. Here is how I did it:

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/betterprivacy/

    Unfortunately it is not possible for an addon to get the exact URL’s of the sites that stored those SLO’s.

    I undertook a simple test to see what SLO belonged to David Farrar’s Kiwiblog site:

    1. Install Better Privacy to find SLO cookies.
    2. Backup SLO folder onto external media.
    1. Prevent automatic deletion of trusted SLO using Better Privacy.
    2. Delete unchecked SLO from system by restarting Firefox.
    3. Revisit Kiwiblog and then check SLO cookie list again. Gotcha!

    This test will work for any site deploying SLO. I also purged many of the standard cookies through the Firefox preferences, but this was time consuming.

    I have now changed the settings in Better Privacy so that it informs me when a site installs an SLO cookie onto my computer, I can then decide if I want to prevent automatic deletion. Will keep you posted.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      What is a SLO cookie and why should we care about it?

      • joe90 4.1.1

        Using chrome and when I checked here there was nothing from KB.

      • Todd 4.1.2

        Local Shared Object cookie (LSO) or .sol can potentially do anything on your computer. It’s mainly used as a tracking device to see where you go on the internet. It is not a normal cookie and cannot be removed through the browser preferences.

        http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/08/you-deleted-your-cookies-think-again/

        All modern browsers now include fine-grained controls to let users decide what cookies to accept and which to get rid of, but Flash cookies are handled differently. These are fixed through a web page on Adobe’s site, where the controls are not easily understood (There is a panel for Global Privacy Settings and another for Website Privacy Settings — the difference is unclear). In fact, the controls are so odd, the page has to tell you that it is the control, not just a tutorial on how to use the control.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_Shared_Object

        LSOs can be used by web sites to collect information on how people navigate those web sites even if people believe they have restricted the data collection. More than half of the internet’s top websites use LSOs to track users and store information about them. There is relatively little public awareness of LSOs, and they can usually not be deleted by the cookie privacy controls in a web browser. This may lead a web user to believe a computer is cleared of tracking objects, when it is not.

        Several services even use LSOs as surreptitious data storage to reinstate traditional cookies that a user deleted, a policy called “re-spawning” in homage to video games where adversaries come back to life even after being “killed”. So, even if a user gets rid of a website’s tracking cookie, that cookie’s unique ID will be assigned back to a new cookie again using the Flash data as “backup.” In USA, at least five class-action lawsuits have accused media companies of surreptitiously using Flash cookies.

        In certain countries it is illegal to track users without their knowledge and consent. For example, in the UK, customers must consent to use of cookies/LSOs as defined in the “Guidance on the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003”:

        Cookies or similar devices must not be used unless the subscriber or user of the relevant terminal equipment:

        * is provided with clear and comprehensive information about the purposes of the storage of, or access to, that information; and
        * is given the opportunity to refuse the storage of, or access to, that information.

        http://techtrickz.com/web-browser/4-ways-to-remove-flash-cookie-or-super-cookies-from-your-pc/

    • Deadly_NZ 4.2

      I never go anywhere with out
      No Script
      Adblock
      Ghostery
      Better Privacy
      Flash Block
      Beef Taco
      Karbon
      Https anywhere

      plus the other stuff that makes life easier and safer lol Paranoid??? Me??? Naaa LOL

      • lprent 4.2.1

        Https anywhere

        I keep thinking about getting a wildcard certificate (obviously I’m not getting openSSH to make a user generated one and then suffer the inevitable queries from people worried about accepting it). But it seems like a lot of expense for little return – not to mention that I’d have to ramp up the server to handle the server side encryption.

  4. Carol 5

    Why are the MSM continuing to peddle this boring stuff about the wedding for UK’s royal bludgers? Wasn’t there an online news site poll that showed, even on the rightwing leaning polls, Kiwis really aren’t that interested?

    • Deadly_NZ 5.1

      Only Smile and Wave he need’s the invite for his CV and Photo Op..

    • Well Key and his wife will go over to the UK and bob up and down and touch their forelock to their” betters.” Bronwin will curtsey and Key will bow and all this to a couple of priviledged over rich parasites . Members of the most bludging family ever, Here we have the PM of Aotearoa going over to gorge at the taxpayers expenses when his government is about to put thousands of underpriviledged New Zealanders on the scrap heap.
      What makes it worse is that many New Zealanders will endorse all this
      achaic nonsense and even send their own presents. There are certainly more out than in!

  5. Bored 6

    Kunstler is always good for a snicker on a Tuesday morning. Interspersed with the usual wry and darkly amusing commentary are pearls of wisdom.
    I often rail against the techno salvation lobby for whom “cures” to all “problems” will be solved by an amalgam of human ingenuity and the holy “market” signal, despite an absence of material to utilize in the manufacture of this techno salvation. James take….

    New Technology is the New Jesus. It’s descending from out of the holy ethers to float us across the rivers of Babylon to the New Jerusalem

    Then a couple of classics about what happens after a revolution, and the implications…

    Likewise, the infantile idea that these nations in the throes of revolt will slide from disorder into natural democracy like falafels into a pita pocket.

    If the lands around the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea continue to fall apart politically, you can be sure that something required by the oil markets will get broken over there – whether it is an oil terminal, or a shipping channel, or a royal skull

    Cassandras don’t care much for popularity, they just like to say quietly to themselves “I told you that would happen”.

  6. ianmac 7

    Sounds like another serious earthquake in Christchurch!

  7. lprent 8

    Scubone acting like his normal pious arsehole self. He twitter linked to this post with:-

    New blog posting, Big quake hits Christchurch – Key blamed

    Someone remind me to seriously look at this little plonker after this. Frankly this little shithead gives Christians a really bad name.

    [lprent: This thread went political – moved from the Quake post to OpenMike. My bad (although I have to say that I’me seriously irritated with scubone) ]

    • kultur 8.1

      What the fellow realises and is letting slip in a freudian manner – is that disasters are good for Key. They are vote-getters and photo-ops for him – and they are free of charge. You just watch and see how he manages this – it’ll be all polish and marketing and homilies – and the people of Canterbury will see nothing out of it. He’ll even spin it as an economic boon. Scrubone should be ashamed of itself.

      I feel very sad for the people of Canterbury. Saddest picture of all – a collapsing cathedral. That is an end of an era – i hope it doesnt become a metaphor for what will happen if Key and his cronies retain power.

      Not meaning to take anything away from this disaster folks – but i have this horrible foreboding about the propensity for this Government to hijack public opinion through others misery.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Now’s not the time mate.

        • Oscar 8.1.1.1

          It’s definitely not the time, but the cynical part of me wonders if the government will be glad that the horrendous welfare working group report will be overshadowed by this tragic event.

          I just got a text from a friend saying that they’ve just pulled 10 bodies from a “busdg” in the cbd. Whether it’s a bus or a building, I don’t know, but today will be remembered in our national psyche forever.

          12:51 21/02/2011. Christchurch, you’re in our thoughts.

        • kultur 8.1.1.2

          Now is possibly exactly the time CV … these cold fish pragmatists sitting in power have no qualms about it … Earthquakes, Finance Companies and Mining Fatalities. Its not politicking … its just facing in advance – the fact that Key and his cadre of spin doctors will make the most they can out of this. Key should send experts down under his instructions (and he can make capital media wise out of that?) – and then accept their reporting – instead he wants to press the flesh and be snapped and have members of the public and MSM saying “his response was absolutely spot on…” He trades on the sense of fair play of the Left in disaster situations – cynical showman that he is. He’s treating us and canterbury in his calculator like mind right now as an “option” or a “future” …. something to make capital out of … bet he’s phoning crosby textor right now to assess the gains.

          Christchurch needs all our support – and our prayers – what it doesnt need is the Key publicity machine making certain that it ‘garners’ a maximum of polling results. Guess thats the end of Phil being interviewed on State TV in the morning – it’ll be all that “nice man Key” …

          Still – i guess if the public are that dumb they get the politicians they deserve.

          Tragic pics on the TV coming out of the city – absolutely heartbreaking.

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.2.1

            I know rust never sleeps lads. But first things first.

          • RedLogix 8.1.1.2.2

            I’d normally moderate that comment out kultur. But I’m leaving it for several reasons.

            1. In this sort of event people’s perspectives gets skewed and folk are apt to say stuff that on sober reflection they’d realise was ill-judged.

            2. It’s best that other people can see what is wrong here and know why not to repeat the mistake.

            • Inventory2 8.1.1.2.2.1

              @ RedLogix; with respect, you’re mistaken. You guys accused John Key yesterday of milking a tragedy. What Kultur has posted is infinitely worse. People are dead and dying in collapsed buildings. Christchurch’s CBD is totalled. The human cost of this is enormous. My daughter is at uni down there; she’s fine, but is frightened like a baby. She will be one of but many.

              Please reconsider, and remove that grossly offensive and factually incorrect post.

              • Jim MacDonald

                Overseas feng shui experts who are friends sent texts and email asking if we are ok. They’ve cast Key’s birthdate/year against the Year of the metal Rabbit and say his aura is dark for NZ (ie he’s jinx).

          • big bruv 8.1.1.2.3

            You kultur, are a cunt.

            [lprent: You’re not helping. It has been dealt with and your comment seems designed to be more incendiary than useful. ]

      • Tel 8.1.2

        True, now is not the time, but Key is making a visit to CC for no apparent reason, and it only further proves what a reprehensible human being this man is, using tragedy and death as a photo opportunity is as low as it gets.

        • billy fish 8.1.2.1

          Please stop saying Now is not the time then carrying on with the comments
          Now is not the time
          cease and desist

        • kriswgtn 8.1.2.2

          and he said whatever it takes to rebuild CHCH

          heard that before

        • Tanz 8.1.2.3

          Come on, people. The man is the PM of NZ right now. Of course he should go, it’s just the right thing to do. And I’m sure, he would want to go. Credit where credit is due, I’m sure he’ll be of much help.

          Poor old Christchurch, and its residents. Blessings and best thoughts to them.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.3.1

            Of course he should go, it’s just the right thing to do.

            No, really, he shouldn’t. There’s nothing he can do by being there and all he’ll end up doing is using up scarce resources that would have been better used helping the people of Chch.

        • Blighty 8.1.2.4

          whatever you may think, such comments at this time allow the left to be tarred with a bad brush. So please keep it to yourself.

          not politic http://www.thefreedictionary.com/politic

    • Deadly_NZ 8.2

      More like he gives Humans a bad name.

    • kriswgtn 8.3

      What a vile disgusting fukwit

  8. Todd 9

    Significant injuries and deaths confirmed in the Christchurch Earth quake. People are reported to be trapped under collapsed building. Most historic buildings have been destroyed. Lyttleton hardest hit.

  9. Colonial Viper 10

    Oh as to why Fonterra agreed to freeze their milk prices: it appeared to be a purely political move and now we have confirmation:

    Fonterra has announced it is increasing its forecast payout for the current season by 60 cents per kg of milksolids. The new payout level is $7.90 to $8.00.

    Based on last year’s production figures, this forecast payout would mean Fonterra paying out just over $10 billion to its farmers shareholders.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10707926

  10. The Voice of Reason 11

    Small beer, I know, but Stuff are reporting that the Maori Party have just expelled Hone Harawira.

  11. Nadis 12

    You cocks damning key for going to Chch are morons blinded by ideology. If he didn’t go you’d bollock him for not going.
    it’s absolutely appropriate that key and goff and there and hopefully coordinating with each other to provide a united front
    They’re not stupid. They’ll be overly concious of not getting in the way. it is appropriae they are used to disseminate information.

    Any one that turns this tragedy into a political point scoring exercise before the bodies are even collected is a cunt and I would not piss on your face if it was on fire.

    [lprent: I will let it through despite the language because it actually makes a point. Ironically the same point I was making about scubone playing politics. ]

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Not ideology – just facts. He can’t do anything to help there (he’s not trained) but he will use up resources that would have been better used to help those who actually need it. He, and Goff, could disseminate any information from Wellington or Auckland.

      • Tigger 12.1.1

        Actually Nadis, I’m concerned for anyone who chooses to go to a quake zone. What if there is another quake/aftershock that brings stuff down on them. Just saw Key in the middle of the city – whose to say the damn ground won’t open up under him. I question the wisdom of any politician, but especially our PM, heading to a danger zone like this. Not to mention the stress of taking his support services with him (what beds are his secret service taking up?).

        He just appeared on TV, speaking like a reporter and not the PM. Why on earth is he there?

  12. erentz 13

    I came here to comment on this earthquake w.r.t. politics (as per lprent’s instructions in the quake thread), but I see there are some very-very angry responses to the few who have commented on this line claiming now is not the time. So when is it going to be ok to start calling out the various manouvers to exploit this tragedy for political gain as a bad thing? I really hope the MSM doesn’t also think they should avoid this. It’s not insensitive if someone shows concern for this now, this kind of thing is a reality, just look to Italy or the USA, just look to the first Canterbury quake, it’s disgusting and it needs to be checked and if you try to censor commentary on the subject on some grounds that it’s insensitive then it really plays into the hands of those who want to exploit it.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Whether people like it or not, the political element of this is certainly already in play. Even as rescue operations are underway, many businesses who were staggering after Sept are finished now. More workers will lose their jobs in the next few days.

      The families who have not been able to return to their homes after Sept now have 1000’s more in the same boat.

      I really sincerely hope that Key, Brownlee (once he is back in the country), English and co. can quickly and effectively help Christchurch. They must approve emergency spending and budgets in the next week or two, at the latest.

      NB New emergency powers exist for the Government to use

      Vested in Brownlee, no less. It will pay for all of us to keep our eyes wide open and ensure that this earthquake doesn’t also damage our democracy at the same time.

  13. joe90 14

    News about Libya, nine twitters to follow.

  14. Nadis 15

    I have to say I am quite astonished by the fact that these buildings in cc have collapsed. Without really understanding the engineering of earthquake design I had always believed the building code in NZ was sufficient to essentially survive even stronger quakes than this. Presumably the shallowness of the epicenter makes the actual force greater than the headline richter number indicates?

  15. Nadis 16

    Oh and Erentz. It’s insensitive when its bullshit. When key starts behaving differently to how (say Helen Clarke or phil Goff) would behave then its ok. So far that hasn’t happened. But by all means accuse key of corpse cuddling, I think you’ll find 99% of NZers will think u are a tasteless dick. So go ahead but if I were you I’d wait until at least after the funerals. Just take a deep breath, make a cup of tea and come back to the blogs next week.

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    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    4 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    4 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    5 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    6 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
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    1 week ago
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  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
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