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Open mike 24/04/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 24th, 2020 - 146 comments
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146 comments on “Open mike 24/04/2020 ”

    • Barfly 1.1

      That's the trouble with a silly dog that will chase anything looking like a car….

      Some are so silly they even chase parked cars…with a predictable results..

      Woof Woof Simon – Bravo, sic em boy!

    • mac1 1.2

      The local ranking police officer did not appreciate being told by Bridges that the police did not seem to be interested.

      A very confusing news report.

      Versions of events vary widely. Gang members or two polite women? Gang members or no members on the roster and no patches worn. Road blocks or community staffed information points with official approval?

      Staffers informing MPs. Police performing own lengthy interview with alleged complainant.

      Reporter reporting upon incident/s.

      Who's right?

  1. I Feel Love 2

    Burning irony, just saw a photo of a MAGA anti-lockdown placard "My body! My decision!".

  2. ScottGN 3

    The Herald is clinging to Key like a comfort blanket. This time a drooling piece about how he wants to play golf with Trump!

    • Andre 3.1

      Don't be too quick to dismiss the idea. If it could be structured to align Key's interests with the country's, it could be a good use of his talents. Key's history suggests he's pretty good at sucking up to those he wants something from, and we know the Lard of the Links enjoys a good tongue-bathing of his nether regions.

    • AB 3.2

      DT: It would be a beautiful thing, maybe the best game of golf ever. And great for the economy- everybody is saying it would be great for the economy. It would be a powerful game of golf, very strong. And powerful – that's the way we thinking at the moment. We'll see what happens.

      JK: Ekshully thet's true.

    • Treetop 3.3

      Key probably wants a job with Trump. Key left politics when he knew being the PM was over and Peters would favour a Labour coalition. Now that there are hard times with Air NZ Key will run again.

      Trump is unlikely to be re elected.

    • AB 3.4

      "The Herald is clinging to Key like a comfort blanket"

      There's a lot of psychic damage occurring on the right at the moment – they need some time out for self care. I could say 'be kind' – but I think we should follow the advice (can't remember from whom) that "when your enemy is drowning, throw him an anvil".

    • ianmac 3.5

      Would Key tolerate Trump's habit of cheating? Not counting strokes. Not handing in card. Lying about his skills but then is Key squeaky clean on the golf course?

  3. Cinny 4

    Crikey, just tuning in for trumps 9,45am propaganda broadcast and apparently the net is down in California and some other states. Anyone know about it please?

    • Cinny 4.1

      Turns out that one of the network providers is having an outage over there.

      Meanwhile, agent orange has wheeled out a spokesperson for the Dept Homeland Security Science and Tech. Which he cut funding to not so long ago. To tell the people that sunlight can help in the fight against the virus.

      There you go USA, get naked and work outside, you'll be fine.

      God help those poor people.

      • Incognito 4.1.1

        Never thought that Betsy DeVos would manage to destroy public education and dumb down the population so quickly. I guess there’s a Crusher Destroyer lurking inside all of us.

        • Cinny 4.1.1.1

          Too true, too true.

          She sure is another terrible billionaire, dodgy betsy, her brother started Blackwater.

      • Treetop 4.1.2

        As a side issue see the low turnout expected back at school in NZ at level 3.

        I am not sure about ECE but would expect a similar result.

        • Cinny 4.1.2.1

          I just called my friend who is an ECE teacher, she is currently in a work meeting, will let you know the outcome, am interested too.

          • Treetop 4.1.2.1.1

            I to know someone well who works in ECE.

            In my younger days I did home based childcare for 5 years. Usually with 2-3 kids. This would work well at level 3. The pay was awful, but knowing children had stability was a good thing.

            It will be interesting to know the difference between private ECE run daycare and ECE government run daycare.

            As well if you have children at school or in daycare.

  4. Scumbag Andy 5

    Xero founder Rod Drury says we should sell off the land in NZ to overseas investors who have $50 million each to give us. Then we can build houses and be rich. I admit I was sceptical of this plan, because rich people are bad, but then he reassured me by saying,

    "What's the downside of having these people here? People instinctively say 'no that's bad' but do we have any examples of it actually being bad?"

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/prosper/121209460/international-property-investment-could-kickstart-construction-sector-drury

    You cannot imagine what immediate enlightenment was like. Suddenly it all made sense. Universities everywhere were exposed as the fraudulent dosshouses they really are.

    My mind swooped past a formative moment in our nation's history – The Great War. It truly was a great war, after all. Not just from a manufacturing perspective, but because it also gave Hitler his formative years. People say war is bad, but do we have any examples of it actually being bad? And Hitler, is he really that bad? Without Hitler we would not have the UN, and Helen Clark would be unemployed.

    But spare a thought for what Hitler did for Jews in just ten short years, when Moses wasted 40 years in the desert with the Jews and didn't even think to invent anti-Semitism! These are the kind of opportunities our old way of thinking should avoid. Don't be a Moses!

    No. You're right. There are downsides. But are there really? Displaced cows and sheep who'd otherwise just be standing around on farmland can swarm down out of the hills and find employment, perhaps working as passengers on public transport. Our rivers and waterways are saved! Even those pesky Greens couldn't object to that.

    Suddenly I knew we had found our visionary for the post covid reality. So selfless was his sacrifice, so efficient his methods, that he didn't even use a Z for his own company's name. Quite rightly he assumed that Z is for zero, and that means no money. I was sad. But then I thought of all the words now free to choose another consonant, perhaps by taking a vote. Democracy in action!

    Then it struck me. The single biggest thought I've ever had. We might think firing Rod Drury out of a canon, far out into the Tasman Sea, is a "bad" idea. But do we have any examples of it actually being bad?

    • lprent 5.1

      Ah, I can see that you're exposing your inner Hosking again.

      Is that wise? You might wind up a talk show host and go mindless from too much agonising about what to say today.

      /sarc

    • Cinny 5.2

      Refugees add more value to NZ than overseas billionaires.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.2.1

        100%

        Last thing we need is to give rich people even more power over the rest of us.

    • Molly 5.3

      Thanks, I enjoyed that read. Wasn't bad – or was it?

  5. ScottGN 6

    Apparently ACT is polling at 5% or over as Nat voters run for cover. So National won’t need to cut them a deal in Epsom right? That poor cuckold Goldsmith can stand up straight and actually campaign to win for once. And we can put this shabby episode in our MMP history behind us.

    • Sacha 6.1

      If the national average is 5%, imagine what the Epsom support level would be?

    • Enough is Enough 6.2

      I'd vote Seymour over Goldsmith it it was my electorate.

      Despite being ACT Seymour has done some great things in parliament, and advocating for his electorate.

      Where would the euthanasia debate be now without Seymour. He is far more effective than Goldsmith.

      • Sacha 6.2.1

        That 5% would be projected *party* vote, not for their single current MP renowned for his doorknocking and saying 'hi'.

        • ScottGN 6.2.1.1

          Let’s face it that 5% is almost all Nat voters getting out before the shit really hits the fan.

          The main point though is that if ACT can hit the threshold there’s no point National gifting them a seat, they’ll no longer get the extra vote in parliament for nothing.

          • Sacha 6.2.1.1.1

            Yes, a good point.

          • Andre 6.2.1.1.2

            In the long game it would still be worthwhile for the Nats to keep ACT alive for when they pick up again. So that segment of wingnuts that think Nats aren't nutty enough for them and can kid themselves that ACT isn't really just a sockpuppet will still end adding adding to the Nats numbers in parliament.

          • Enough is Enough 6.2.1.1.3

            That's my point. I think if National campaigned hard against Seymour, Seymour would still win. He's a better candidate than Goldsmith.

  6. RedLogix 7

    An interesting COVID read from a different angle:

    But the researchers instead found evidence for the opposite: “The key factor for infection was the direction of the airflow,” with downstream individuals being most at risk—a result consistent with the thesis that COVID-19 is transmitted primarily through the ballistic transmission of large respiratory droplets.

    • Bruce 7.1

      My theory ,worked out while walking in the park, if I can smell their aftershave they could be infecting me. I stay upwind where ever possible.

  7. Ad 8

    Pat Baskett at Newsroom tells it like it is on industry resistance to getting to 100% renewable electricity generation.

    Also points to the nonsense of requiring peak demand gas fired generators when renewable options are available if generators would get off their asses and put the different generation in.

    Sure made me wonder if Tesla battery storage (apropos the South Australian solution) would be more useful as resilience than peak generation.

    Otherwise it was pretty clear the main generators aren't going to act fast enough to get to the goal of 100% renewable generation by 2040.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/greenroom/2020/04/24/1141358/pat-baskett

    The report itself is worth a read, as well as the article.

    • Andre 8.1

      Tiwai Point is a major obstacle to generators getting off their asses and putting in new generation. Who in their right commercial mind wants to invest in new generation when there's the ever-present threat of the market getting flooded with cheap excess electricity at a year's notice?

      For storage, New Zealand is blessed with an abundance of water and hilly country – ideal for pumped hydro storage. There's the Onslow-Manorburn depression in the South Island – if fully exploited it could store 1/3 of New Zealand's current annual electricity consumption. It would be surprising if there weren't at least a few suitable sites along the Waikato, even though I've been told most of the soild are unsuitable due to susceptibility to piping. No doubt there's lots of other potential sites in other North Island hill country.

      edit: another major obstacle to generators getting off their asses is our market structure. It’s actually in the generators’ commercial interest to ride the line of major shortages as closely as possible, to increase the market price of what they sell. On top of the regular commercial incentive to not over-capitalise.

      • Ad 8.1.1

        This government tends to kill new electricity generation dams. It's OK with those that are consented but unbuilt on the West Coast. Otherwise the era of such dams is gone.

        At some point water storage for climate mitigation and water storage for electricity generation will find a sweet spot.

        But not I fear with this government.

        • Andre 8.1.1.1

          Thing is, pumped hydro doesn't necessarily require trashing an existing substantial waterway. See this one built basically on top of a hill.

          https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-aerial-view-upper-reservoir-of-the-rnkhausen-pumped-storage-hydroelectric-72731151.html

          To be sure, it is usually more economic to just build a dam across an already existing water-carved valley, but that existing watercourse can be tiny. Especially if you're going for using a lot of head height and low flow for storing energy, rather than a lot of water volume at low head.

          • Ad 8.1.1.1.1

            Any time one of the generators wants to put a proposal like that through our ridiculous system, I have teams that will build it for them.

            Agree with your point about the market.

            I have this nasty feeling we're about to find out how little this government is interested in structural change of about anything.

    • weka 8.2

      any good reason the government can't legislate to make this happen?

    • RedLogix 8.3

      Also points to the nonsense of requiring peak demand gas fired generators when renewable options are available if generators would get off their asses and put the different generation in.

      It's even more of a nonsense when you consider that methane leakage from natural gas networks can easily cancel out the AGW gains made by the renewables. I don't have the linky to hand, but I've read at least two solid studies that have done the numbers on this.

      Renewables are a very welcome transition technology, we need them and should exploit them to the optimum extent possible … but they come with their own set of limitations we should be aware of.

    • Muttonbird 9.1

      Lol. I thought it was going to be, "Roger Waters calls for Democrats to put differences aside".

      • adam 9.1.1

        Why should the left wing support liberals who have stuffed their lives for the last 40 years? trump is scum, but I'm not seeing biden being a much better type of scum. What with the sexual assault allegations, voting, and civil rights record.

    • joe90 9.3

      Presumably yourself and Waters are okay with the multi-generational harm that will undoubtedly ensue should repugs get the opportunity to continue packing courts with conservative/religious extremists.

      U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined a conference call with conservative pastors hosted by the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins last Thursday. Pompeo told the pastors that he has two big projects: the high-level international conferences he has hosted to promote religious liberty around the world, and the Commission on Unalienable Rights.

      The Commission on Unalienable Rights has generated alarm among human rights advocates and excitement among anti-LGBTQ religious-right groups that opposed the Obama administration’s promotion of LGBTQ human rights globally. In the past, the commission’s chair, conservative Harvard University law professor Mary Ann Glendon, has dismissed those concerns without allaying them.

      Pompeo’s remarks on the FRC pastors call strongly suggest that he hopes the commission will do exactly what human rights advocates fear, which is to seek to limit what some conservatives call “human rights inflation,” especially the recognition of the rights of LGBTQ people

      https://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/mike-pompeo-says-unalienable-rights-commission-will-return-human-rights-policy-to-judeo-christian-tradition-on-which-this-country-was-founded/

      • Andre 9.3.1

        "Leave no vacancy behind".

        McTurtle is working damn hard to ensure all empty slots are filled, and is trying to persuade all the older conservative judges to resign so thay can be replaced by young ones while he still can.

        https://www.salon.com/2020/04/22/mcconnell-rushes-to-confirm-judicial-nominees-as-trump-flounders-in-polls-leave-no-vacancy-behind/

      • In Vino 9.3.2

        Poor presumption, Joe90. Waters is furious that they have chosen Biden because he sees him as sure to lose to Trump, and thereby empower the repugs to do exactly all that, and worse.

        • Andre 9.3.2.1

          The time for that message ended a month ago. The voters have made their choice clear. Now it's time to move on to defeating the Marmalade Moron.

          Continuing to throw whiny tantrums just helps the chances of Darth Hater continuing his covfiefdom in the Oval Office. But maybe that is indeed the intent.

          • bill 9.3.2.1.1

            Continuing to throw whiny tantrums just …

            Given this is NZ, I don't suppose it really matters if the 'winning strategy' is to piss off people who might otherwise vote for the dead head over the fuck head…

        • joe90 9.3.2.2

          Waters' presumes to know better than the people who selected Biden.

          Nice.

          /

          • bill 9.3.2.2.1

            The people who selected Biden are the same people whose failings are responsible for Trump.

            If the primaries had been a neutral arena voters entered into, then Biden would not have been the nominee.

            The DNC, corporate media and donors have been successful in preserving a political establishment that's divorced from the lives of workers and pushes policies that have scant regard for voters.

            You reckon Roger Waters is somehow at fault to be pointing out some obvious home truths?

            The Supreme Court nominations, serious as they are, can be nullified by any Democratic President increasing the number of judges that sit on the Supreme Court btw. So potential damage, yes. Inter-generational…not so much.

            And it's not as if working class people aren't already struggling beneath multiple layers of inter-generational trauma. So, not to diminish the effects of some court appointments, but what's another boulder on top of the existent heap?

            • Sacha 9.3.2.2.1.1

              They are stacking way more courts than just the supreme one, and with quite young judges. Locked in for decades.

              • bill

                You mean like the nominations Chuck Schumer (Dem Senate leader) helped fast track?

                • Macro

                  There was no way that the Democrats in Senate could have stopped those appointments – even if they had filibustered for the 30 hours available.This was just prior to the mid-term elections and every good reason for Democratic senators to be back in the states supporting candidates and canvasing their electorate. The only way to stop this relentless attack on the court system by a ideologically driven conservative right wing establishment is to regain a majority in the Senate, and to do that the Democrats needed to preserve the seats they held. McTurtle is a clever and calculating politician and he runs the timing everything that the Senate considers. Many progressive Bills passed by the House just sit mouldering on the floor of the Senate and will never see the light of day.

                  In the end the fast tracking of these few judges (193 federal judges have been sworn in, in the 3 years of this "administration") was a calculated move by the Dems to ensure that in the future, such massive attacks on the US justice system will not be possible.

                  That may be a bit too nuanced for some, because all Dems are bad anyway therefore QED.

                  • Gabby

                    "a calculated move by the Dems to ensure that in the future, such massive attacks on the US justice system will not be possible."

                    Way too subtle for me.

                    • Macro

                      Yeah it probably is. Most here have no real idea of how the system works over there. They seem to think that all the power rests in the President. But it way more subtle than that. The 3 Arms of government are the executive,the legislature and the judicial system. The GOP by stacking the judiciary with highly Conservative judges are attempting to subvert any progressive moves by future governments through legal action. You may recall how much of Trumps initial programme wrt immigration were stymied in the courts and never progressed.

                      If the courts are filled with Conservative judges future attempts at socially progressive legislation will be effectively stymied for decades. The only way to stop this from happening is for the left to take back control of the Senate. That is why just before election day 2018 the Democrats agreed to fast track those 15 judges in order to ensure that they were available in their states for electioneering and ensure the blue wave that did eventuate.

                    • Gabby

                      But they lost.

                    • McFlock

                      Who lost? Dems caned the Congress and gained a few in the senate seats that were up for grabs.

                    • Andre

                      Uhh, McFlock, they Dems won big in the House*, but had a net loss of two in the Senate. They gained Arizona and Nevada, but lost North Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, and Florida.

                      To be fair, Florida was the only loss the Dems should have even have been competitive in. The others were only Dem because 2012 was an exceptionally good year, and the Repugs put up gargoyles like Todd "legitimate rape" Akin in those other seats. But overall, it was still very good for Senate Dems, winning 22 of the 33 seats.

                      *Congress strictly speaking refers to both the House of Representatives and the Senate put together as the legislative branch. Yes, House Reps are commonly referred to as Congressman or Congresswoman, while Senators aren't. But using Congress to refer to just the House rarks up my inner pedant every time. Sorry.

          • mauī 9.3.2.2.2

            Yeah its pretty obvious what is politically toxic to most folks, apart from the lefty "elite" and their hangers on of course.

            • The Al1en 9.3.2.2.2.1

              The latest round of opinion polling data suggests you don't really have a clue what constitutes politically toxic, or any idea of what folks are thinking, Ainsley.

              https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/

            • joe90 9.3.2.2.2.2

              People don't like being told their lives are worthless. Consequently Biden is ahead with the elderly. I doubt younger people are all that keen on dying either.

              A string of recent polls shows troubling signs for President Trump with older voters, a group central to his reelection effort that appears to be drifting away from him amid a pandemic that has been especially deadly for senior citizens.

              […]

              While it’s unclear if Biden’s polling strength with older voters will carry over into November, the shifts are enough to reshape the dynamics of a close race that has already been upended by a viral pandemic that has killed more than 47,000 Americans.

              “We know that Americans over the age of 50 make up the majority of voters — and as a result, they’re a deciding factor in our elections,” Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer, said in an interview. “They aren’t a monolith as a voting bloc, but one thing is clear: They do plan to vote.”

              LeaMond said that while older voters were responsible for Trump’s narrow electoral college victory in 2016, their support shifted to Democrats in 2018, helping propel Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to become speaker of the House of Representatives.

              http://archive.li/VTCyt

      • millsy 9.3.3

        We need to bring back the League of Militant Atheists.

        A few armed athiests trashing churches will make the god-bothers think about stripping people of their human rights, which is soooo what they want to do.

    • Ad 9.4

      Roger isn't voting in the US Presidential election is he?

      What party does he support in the UK?

    • AB 9.5

      "Joe Biden is a 'fucking slimeball' who can't beat Trump"

      Joe Biden has to beat Trump. Biden's a horrible candidate – dull, uninspiring, with a terrible record and a rich target for attack ads. But he has to beat Trump, and it looks like the only way that happens is if Trump's mismanagement of the C-19 crisis is so terrible that people turn on him. Polls indicate it may be happening. This has opened up a whole new landscape of moral hazard for the left. Put crudely – how many deaths are you wishing for in order to beat Trump? This is a disgusting calculus – and you can blame the DNC for it, because they deemed just about the worst possible candidate to be the most electable, and enough of the voters fell in line.

      "I'm so flabbergasted and gobsmacked by the way the Democratic National Committee has railroaded Bernie"

      Oh come on – Waters sounds like an idiot if his understanding of power is so naive. They were never, never going to let Sanders anywhere near the nomination – he is a material threat to their existing wealth and income streams. Add to that the mistakes of the Sanders campaign itself and it was always very unlikely.

      • Andre 9.5.1

        It's all the DNC, huh? The 49% of South Carolina Dem primary voters that chose Biden have no agency of their own? Nor do any of the other subsequent primary voters that coalesced around Biden to give him substantial majorities and pluralities?

        edit: To me it really looks like the DNC bent over backwards to avoid doing anything that could be perceived as handicapping Bernie. Especially considering that Bernie pointedly rejects being a Democrat. Except when he runs.

        • AB 9.5.1.1

          Having 'agency' is not the same as being immune to external influence. Communicating a clear message from Obama on downwards that it must be Biden, constitutes influence. With influence comes culpability (at least partially).

        • Andre 9.5.1.2

          Bugger, ran out of edit time for what I wanted to add. Which that Bernie pointedly rejects being a part of the Democratic party. Except when he wants to do an Alien facehugger/chestburster on it in service of presidential ambitions.

        • bill 9.5.1.3

          Around 50% of African American Dem voters in S. Carolina said they made a last minute decision to vote Biden in light of James Clyburn's endorsement.

          There was also a very interesting interview with a black professor on The Hill a while back exploring the purportedly fairly unique and prevalent mind set of African American voters in states such as South Carolina. Essentially, the argument goes that white politics and white politicians have let down African Americans so often over so many generations, that many in those states approach any political promise of improvement from a 'white quarter' with such deep cynicism that they're inclined to vote instead for 'honest' white candidates who promise nothing.

  8. Andre 10

    America's Pest and Blightest is not a doctor, y'know, but he has a very good you-know-what. So he knows ways, lots of ways, that can cure virus. That nobody else has ever thought of. It's amazing. We could put a yuge beautiful burst of heat and light inside of people to kill the virus. Because heat and light kills viruses, you just have to get it where the virus is.

    https://www.vox.com/2020/4/23/21233628/trump-disinfectant-injections-sunlight-coronavirus-briefing

    • Treetop 10.1

      The difference between Trump and Cuomo is, Trump is one step behind the virus and Cuomo is trying to be one step ahead of the virus.

      On a serious note, have you caught up with reading about people presenting with reduced oxygen as much as 50%?

      I tend to read a bit on medical matters compared to other topics. What I am reading about Covid-19, so much is unknown when it comes to what to do and not what to do in an ICU setting. When I read clinicians comments about how scarey the management of blood clots are and the usual treatment which is given I can see how up against the fight they are. Selfless and doing the best they can with the knowledge they have got.

      • Andre 10.1.1

        Yeah, it's scary the things this virus is doing that we're slowly learning about.

        I've reported this before here, but here's a repeat of what my nephew in France has observed with his case of COVID. He is currently still in recovery from COVID-19. His case would be called mild – ie like the worst case of flu most people ever experience, but he didn't get to the point of needing external breathing assistance (his mother's case is similar). He has noticed his normal reflex to draw breath has been significantly suppressed. This is shown most dramatically by exhaling as far as possible, then trying to not inhale again. Normally this gets very distressing very quickly. In his current COVID-recovering state, he is able to sit there completely calmly feeling no need to inhale, even while his measured CO2 levels are spiking and oxygen dropping. This is particularly concerning for stopping breathing while asleep, and he notes that simply dying while asleep appears to happening at an unusually high rate among COVID-recovering patients.

        Then I recall seeing a report where pregnant women were turning up to hospital, not reporting COVID symptoms, but for other pregnancy related reasons. Then low oxygen reading would show up. Then they'd take an x-ray, and find significant signs of COVID in their lungs. Which would then by confirmed by a coronavirus test.

        • weka 10.1.1.1

          thanks, that's a really good description. I feel like the emerging reports this week of hypoxia, as well as the blood clot issues, are another Italy moment for us, this one is not so in our face but a big wake up call nonetheless. Can't shake the feeling that we're still at the early stages of this whole thing and that we've not go to grips with the bigger picture yet.

    • AB 10.2

      God almighty – when are some people in white coats going to turn up and take him away?

      • Andre 10.2.1

        Maybe he'll ask for a beautiful big burst of light and heat inside him. To kill any germs there. And they give it to him. Along with a big injection of antiseptic like he asked for.

        • Treetop 10.2.1.1

          Someone sent me this. See Trumps suggestions about disinfectant. He maybe onto something with his UV claims as he spends a lot of time in sun beds and hasn't gotten sick.

    • solkta 10.3

      "The disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning. It gets in the lungs"

      • solkta 10.3.1

        Hell i've still got the giggles.

        Don't try this at home now, yih hear.

        • Andre 10.3.1.1

          Just waiting for the reports of the people that do try it at home. There might be some truly awesome idiot inventiveness coming up.

    • joe90 10.4

    • joe90 10.5

      Be warned – cannot be unseen.

  9. RedBaronCV 11

    The MSD investigation of the wage subsidy. While the numbers are a little muddled it looks like some where over 50% of the investigations produced a repayment. That's huge. Note the really crooked claimants can just pay it back not face criminal proceedings. Other MSD nvestigations have never been that forgiving.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/121215598/coronavirus-more-than-16-million-in-wage-subsidy-to-be-refunded-after-government-audit

    • indiana 11.1

      Pretty much equivalent to how WINZ audits their stuff…

    • Chris 11.2

      Just wait for Bridges to get cracking on the government's "slack monitoring, giving money away hand-over-fist" incompetence.

      The reality is, Simon, that the government needed to get that money out straight away. If they took a slow and overly careful approach to assessment there'd be an outcry of how long the process was taking, as well as how eligible businesses were missing out. This is precisely what happens with any tightly controlled targeted regime – eligible people miss out. Just look at our benefit system. The cases where there's been payments made in error are likely to have come from confusion over the criteria rather than employers setting out deliberately to defraud. Everything happened so quickly, and it needed to. Of course mistakes were going to be made.

      • RedBaronCV 11.2.1

        Will Bridges touch this one – It's likely to be RW supporters who are taking far too much advantage? Yes there will some errors and mistakes and voluntary repayments before audit because of that but lets not let it all go as "a just errors" narrative. It was a high trust enviroment, meant to be a last resort and likely has been abused. We've had discussions already on the "how did they get a subsidy" and how the high end managers didn't do more than slap a wet bus ticket on their incomes.

        • Chris 11.2.1.1

          Yes, perhaps. There'll be a mix of reasons and no doubt some fraud, just like with any system. But it's very easy to slip into thinking the majority of cases are where employers understood exactly what they were doing. I just don't think there are that many people across the board who think like that. But maybe there is – dunno. It was a massive undertaking that happened very quickly.

          Whether Bridges goes on the offensive, who knows. He's probably got bigger things to think about right now, putting his foot in his mouth is probably one of them so maybe he won't. If he does he could still take a hard line against the fraudulent and/or a slack government but I think he'd be wrong on both accounts.

          • David Mac 11.2.1.1.1

            There will be people with forensic accountancy experience looking for work soon. The government were quick to act with this matter and hats off to them. Business owners exploiting the opportunity is nothing short of white collar looting in a crisis. I think the looters should be made to pay it back twofold and if they can't, sell up their assets. The recovery and relevant fines should more than pay for the investigations and prosecutions.

            • David Mac 11.2.1.1.1.1

              I wonder how many of those white collar looters might also be the types that have unexplained income tucked in the shadows? Might prompt a ring from an IRS team.

  10. joe90 12

    On the difficulties, limitations and accuracy of anti-body testing.

    https://www.city-journal.org/understanding-covid-19-testing

    • Treetop 12.1

      You find better links than me on Covid-19 that I have been reading. I think I will just wait for you to post them.

      Maybe I could supply a list and you could find the link.

  11. bill 13

    Bastards.

    Both Countdown and Foodstuffs supermarkets will be cutting the 10% bonus they’ve been paying workers throughout lockdown starting from the week after next.

    I know plenty of people already attempt to buy from small retail outlets. But I take it there will be a more widespread effort to buy stuff from places other than supermarkets now?

    • Ad 13.1

      Absolutely. Luckily we have a local organic shop open in competition.

      The government has given the duopoly license to make bank all the way.

      Time the Commerce Commission made these food barons prove their prices and their margins.

    • bwaghorn 13.2

      Why? They had no need to pay 10% extra but did . Things are mostly likely going to be a whole lot safer in a couple of weeks .

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 13.3

      Make the minimum wage a living wage!

      • The Al1en 13.3.1

        Sadly, as Deborah Russell astutely noted the other day, there's an issue with small businesses that would need to fixed first.

  12. joe90 14

    New from the Stones.

  13. Ad 15

    Why is the Left-Green faction of the Greens seeking to roll Shaw, Genter, and Swarbrick?

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/121235996/leftwing-green-faction-wants-to-axe-coleader-james-shaw-and-eugenie-sage-and-chle-swarbrick

    Five months to go – keep your shit together team.

    Don't need another 2017 meltdown.

    • KJT 15.1

      Stuff, as usual, gets it wrong.

    • Peter 15.2

      If they get rid of Shaw, Genter, and Swarbrick they won't have to worry about the ones ahead of those players not doing the right thing in government next time round, or in Parliament. No-one from the party will be in Parliament.

    • solkta 15.3

      Sage not Genter. They have Genter at the same slot as the initial list.

      Members are entitled to an opinion, that is democracy. As the article says they are a small group relative to the total number of members.

  14. Sanctuary 16

    Goodness me, the "Green Left" are a bit of a larf, arn't they? About 100 fanatics getting their most electable MPs as much bad publicity as possible.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/121235996/leftwing-green-faction-wants-to-axe-coleader-james-shaw-and-eugenie-sage-and-chle-swarbrick

    • Ad 16.1

      Only 5 months to keep it together Greens.

      Stay on target, stay on target.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnP5iDKwuwk

      • arkie 16.1.1

        Your concern is misplaced. From the article:

        The group is tiny, possibly representing fewer than 100 current members and their efforts to shape the final list exactly as they want it will almost certainly be unsuccessful.

        • Ad 16.1.1.1

          Only took one last time.

          There's fewer fucking up the Nats right now.

          • arkie 16.1.1.1.1

            No, it took a hostile media beat-up, as we are see again with this amplification of a marginal group within a democratic organisation.

            I still support the actions of Turei, she did not deserve the pile-on for highlighting the failures of our welfare system.

            • Ad 16.1.1.1.1.1

              The media are even more hostile to Bridges right now.

              The media don't owe politicians anything, nor do they owe their party supporters anything.

              The Greens will I suspect get through this unless they are terminally stupid.

              • weka

                The issues in 2017 were largely caucus issues from what I can tell, about how the different MPs were communicating with each other under the pressures of a tough election campaign, and then their unpreparedness for the fall out and MSM response. I totally expect them to have done a lot of work on that.

                That is quite different from a member network publishing ideas internally on how to make the party more left wing. On the face of it their proposal seems daft, both as strategy for the party in election year assuming theoretically they could actually influence the list, but also in terms of ignoring how it might affect the party as a whole. But I suspect it's more in the context of how to get some kind of leftward movement by using this controversial approach rather than working within the more cooperative processes within the party (the latter may not have been effective).

                If so, it's very trad left and not something I see as particularly useful for the party. Hard to tell how influential the group is. Journo is saying less than 100 people, Jack McDonald is saying it's a much bigger group and one of the most influential in the party.

              • arkie

                The media may not owe politicians anything but they do owe their position in society to their supposed commitment to the journalistic concepts of truthful and contextual reporting. If their role is only produce profit then we are being badly served. As citizens we are owed an factual and informative media.

    • Bazza64 16.2

      A communist purge from within the the Greens ! That would be a really interesting development & cat fight before the election. I look forward to it happening as post Covid-19 lockdown entertainment. Off to the gulag for the "Green" Greens while the Reds take control !!

  15. Donald Trump, the Pope, the World's most renowned virologist and a little girl are the only ones still on a damaged plane that is rapidly losing height. There are 4 people and only 3 parachutes.

    The virologist grabs a parachute, says "I have to do important work to save the world from COVID-19", and jumps out of the plane.

    Donald Trump grabs one and says "I am the smartest man in America and must lead the nation through this crisis", and jumps out of the plane.

    The Pope turns to the little girl and says "You take the last parachute, I am an old man who has lived his life, and you have yours ahead of you."

    The little girl says "We can both take one your Holiness – the smartest man in America just jumped out of the plane wearing my Hello Kitty backpack."

    • I Feel Love 17.1

      In the USA they have Drs having to tell people to not ingest disinfectant, please!

      • Cinny 17.1.1

        Dr Brix, what a battle it is for her.

        • David Mac 17.1.1.1

          Yes, poor woman, the wellbeing of the USA on her mind and she is forced to walk through crowded supermarkets holding that spinning toddler's hand.

  16. joe90 18

    Apologies to Solomon Linda.

  17. joe90 19

  18. joe90 20

    Irony is dead if it turns out nicotine does have a beneficial use.

    Nicotine could protect people from contracting the coronavirus, according to new research in France, where further trials are planned to test whether the substance could be used to prevent or treat the deadly illness.

    The findings come after researchers at a top Paris hospital examined 343 coronavirus patients along with 139 people infected with the illness with milder symptoms.

    They found that a low number of them smoked, compared to smoking rates of around 35 percent in France's general population.

    "Among these patients, only five percent were smokers," said Zahir Amoura, the study's co-author and a professor of internal medicine.

    The research echoed similar findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine last month that suggested that 12.6 percent of 1,000 people infected in China were smokers. That was a much lower figure than the number of regular smokers in China's general population, about 26 precent, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)

    […]

    The theory is that nicotine could adhere to cell receptors, therefore blocking the virus from entering cells and spreading in the body, according to renown neurobiologist Jean-Pierre Changeux from France's Pasteur Institut who also co-authored the study.

    The researchers are awaiting approval from health authorities in France to carry out further clinical trials.

    They plan to use nicotine patches on health workers at the Pitie-Salpetriere hospital in Paris — where the initial research was conducted — to see if it protects them against contracting the virus.

    They have also applied to use the patches on hospitalised patients to see whether it helps reduce symptoms and also on more serious intensive care patients, Amoura said.

    https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/coronavirus-drug-news-france-testing-if-nicotine-prevents-coronavirus-from-attaching-to-cells-2217313

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