Open mike 24/06/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 24th, 2023 - 144 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

144 comments on “Open mike 24/06/2023 ”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    I see schools are starting to abandon the open plan classroom concept that has little in the way of evidence to back it up. The open plan approach seems largely based on ideology and, personally, I would describe it as barking mad.

    My wife's sister is a teacher in Australia, and she absolutely hates the open plan concept that has also been introduced over there. Both her and her students find the environment incredibly noisy, and distracting, and not at all conducive to effective learning.

    How do educators come up with these crazy ideas?

    • ianmac 1.1

      Open Plan had been around in the 80s for a short time. During the Key reign they were re-established and ordained. Crazy as National Standards. Not organised by Educators. The best ideas come from the grass roots up rather than from politicians top down.

      • Belladonna 1.1.1

        Seems to have been driven by the Ministry of Education – rather than politicians.
        Certainly, every new classroom in at least the last 10 years (including ones being constructed right now) has had to be open plan (aka 'Modern learning environments') – so covering at least 2 different governments.

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/ministry-of-education-challenged-to-prove-open-learning-classrooms-are-good-for-children/UIQ4QLDRQDJECCBOPVCK4RA7DE/

        There has been a *lot* of criticism over the MoE implementing this major change with little international review, and failing to evaluate the effect on students and learning.

        I think this is an example of 'professional' capture at the MoE, rather than 'political' capture (much like the MoE being wedded to balanced literacy – rather than phonics for teaching reading). Tinetti's inability to get the MoE to change – illustrates just how little power the Minister has over the entrenched bureaucracy.

    • Molly 1.2

      My concern at the moment – is the scheduled rollout of the new NCEA curriculum.

      (Putting aside completely a discussion about mātauranga Māori and the new curriculum content), is anyone discussing the obvious problem with the current schedule?

      https://ncea.education.govt.nz/what-ncea-change-programme

      "Delivering the Change

      We have been working in partnership with teachers, students, school leaders, parents and whānau, and other representatives from the sector to implement the changes to the NCEA. The new standards are scheduled to be implemented in 2024 (Level 1), 2026 (Level 2) and 2027 (Level 3)."

      Now, it seems obvious to me that those taking the new NCEA Level 1 next year, will then move on to the OLD NCEA Level 2, and Level 3 to complete their high school education.

      I'm pulling this estimate out of thin air – so if anyone is able to provide an accurate figure please do so, but I'd be thinking this disrupted schedule will affect around 12-14,000 students.

      This is hard to reconcile with the following five principles:

      "We also want to ensure everything we develop to support the NCEA changes will meet the five principles of a strong NCEA qualification – coherence, credibility, equity and inclusion, pathways and well-being.""

      If NCEA Level 2 and NCEA Level 3, are unable to meet the initial schedule (which seems to be the case), the Ministry should also delay the rollout of NCEA Level 1 so that students are not disrupted in their learning, due to this administrative failure.

    • RosieLee 1.3

      Money. They were cheaper than individual classrooms.

    • Peter 1.4

      The philosophy and theories behind Open Plan may be good. The effort to modernise and evolve teaching and learning is worthy. Unfortunately it seems success is predicated on ideal conditions.*

      In our district (in the '80s?) with all the razzmatazz such a primary school happened. Gradually over years walls were erected to separate spaces. We're in the middle of the next wave now with not just primary but intermediate and secondary schools being part of the plan, getting rid of walls. Major rebuilds of secondary schools see the new style.

      * Teachers being able to work in different ways, teachers wanting to work in different ways, pupils being able to adapt to new ways.

      It seems that this time of the introduction of significant and dramatic change coincides with a time of pronounced lack of stability in schooling, tremendous insecurity in pupils (and communities) and critical issues with staffing schools

      • tWiggle 1.4.1

        Following the idea that school is preparation for work, this is the classroom preparing students for open-plan offices and hot-desking.

        • Incognito 1.4.1.1

          You mean instilling compliance with and obedience to future employers’ demands? And conditioning learning from a young age the value of the provision of ‘performance incentives’ to move from the barn- or factory-floor to the much coveted personal office with associated job title and name tag on the door (not to mention the allocated car park)?

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    So the US president hits the headlines, calling Xi a dictator, and our PM hits the headlines, saying he isn't. Leftists must disagree: it's the culture. The important thing is to ignore the truth – which in this instance is available via analysis of history.

    That job gets done here: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/492525/sorry-prime-minister-joe-biden-was-right-xi-jinping-really-is-a-dictator

    The people's democratic dictatorship concept was formally advanced for the first time in a landmark speech in 1949 by Mao Zedong, who led China from 1949 to 1976.

    The concept is a cornerstone of the Chinese political system, and establishes the theoretical basis by which the CCP historically led the various "classes" of people in China – the working class, the peasant class, the petty bourgeoisie and the national capitalists:

    to maintain dictatorship over the lackeys of imperialism – the landlord class, the bureaucratic capitalist class and the Kuomintang reactionaries and their henchmen representing these classes – to oppress them, to enable them to behave properly and not permit them to talk and act wildly.

    It also serves as one of the CCP's "Four Cardinal Principles". According to the CCP constitution:

    The Four Cardinal Principles – to keep to the path of socialism, to uphold the people's democratic dictatorship, to uphold the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and to uphold Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought – form the foundation for building the country.

    Can you blame Hipkins for being ignorant? Not really. Nobody expects a Labour politician to read history, let alone learn from it. If Biden had wanted other leftist political leaders to get onside he'd have provided this proof, right?

    Readers will think `meh, storm in a teacup'. But is truth & reality really negligible when it comes to politics? The discipline of getting it right is character-building, and politicians would acquire more substance by rising to that challenge.

    • observer 2.1

      Nobody expects a Labour politician to read history, let alone learn from it.

      Nobody thinks that. You don't think that.

      Helen Clark and Michael Cullen didn't just read it. They taught it. At university.

      Maybe you should read their books. Then you wouldn't post such fact-free nonsense.

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        Hmm. I stand corrected. Or perhaps two swallows don't make a summer? Anyway, if Helen was on the ball, she'd have corrected Hipkins publicly by now…

        • Visubversa 2.1.1.1

          And just think of the moaners and screechers if she had. Former PMs generally keep out of that sort of issue. Except for Key who has no sense of decorum at all.

  3. Adrian Thornton 3

    If anyone still still held on to any illusions that Biden, the Clintons, the Democratic party, the heads of the CIA and FBI were not just a bunch of lying, corrupt sacks of shit who make Trump look like a fucking amatuer….

    House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) questioned Special Counsel John Durham about his report on the FBI and the investigations into former President Trump.

    At today's House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) questioned Special Counsel John Durham about his report on the FBI and the investigations into former President Trump, and the Steele Dossier.

    Of course our own RNZ which spewed out this misinformation for five years straight barely utters a word on it's unravelling….but grovel out apologies from their knees like and bunch of beaten gimps when one their crew add a bit on context to the Ukraine war, with one just one wrong fact….what the fuck happened to to even the smallest hint of fair and balanced reporting in the Western media???

    • tWiggle 3.1

      O course it's true that Trump is completely inept at hiding his lying and machinations, simply because he brazenly fills the airwaves and social media with a tonne of lies, chaff and 180 degree turnarounds.

      The end-result is a hardcore of Trump followers whose world-view swings around Trump's latest handful of 'alternative facts'.

      • Adrian Thornton 3.1.1

        "The end-result is a hardcore of Trump followers whose world-view swings around Trump's latest handful of 'alternative facts'"…..yep that is true, however it is exactly the same as RNZ, CNN, BBC, Washington Post (etc) readers and listeners whose own 'world-view swings around their latest handful of alternative facts" (no it is just plain old misinformation or misinformation by omission) …so my question to you is, what is the actual difference?..both sets of citizens are being fed on a endless diet of hate and lies as far as I can see.

        • Adrian Thornton 3.1.1.1

          On this subject, here is a copy of my email to RNZ today..

          Good morning to, Kim and the producers of ‘Saturday Morning’

          As I am sure you are all aware, the widely held and much voiced conspiracy theory of a Trump/Russia collusion has, with the recent release of the Durham Report, been once and for all put to bed as being a complete fabricated and dangerous fantasy, in the words of CNN’s own Jake Tapper, (the) Durham Report Is "Devastating To FBI, And To A Degree, It Does Exonerate Donald Trump"….

          https://www.justice.gov/storage/durhamreport.pdf

          https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2023/05/15/cnns_jake_tapper_durham_report_is_devastating_to_fbi_and_to_a_degree_it_does_exonerate_donald_trump.html

          In light of these finding, my questions to Kim and the producers of her show are;

          1. Will you have Luke Harding back on your show and ask him some hard questions about his method of ‘reporting’ and how he came to his many wrong conclusions in light of this report ?

          2. Will Saturday Morning do a full segment on this subject to fully inform it’s listeners of this information, and also including on that show one of the handful of journalists that were pushing back against this conspiracy of misinformation as it was happening, in many cases much to their own personal and professional detriment?

          I am sure you will agree that some action is needed to be taken on your behalf, to at least remedy in some small way your own part in spreading this misinformation over such a long time period.

          Looking forward to your response.

          Best
          Adrian Thornton

        • tWiggle 3.1.1.2

          Well clearly the sources you post there don't agree with the world as you wish to see it. My suggestion: just choose another lot to keep yourself happy. Personally, I like RNZ, because they do not push a judgemental adjective into every sentence of news-reporting, and because I hear RNZ grilling government Ministers as often as anyone else.

          • Adrian Thornton 3.1.1.2.1

            Yes I agree to a degree RNZ can at times be pretty good on domestic politics…but, when you really start thinking about it for while, you will see that RNZ, like pretty much all western 'liberal' media that I can think of are, when push comes to shove, just defenders of the status quo….

            notice..every single morning we are given quite indepth updates on the stock market..why?…why isn't there a daily morning update on worker/labour news?

            notice…RNZ rightly hand wrings about the state of our health care system…but when interviewing the politicians who either now or could potentially in the future, be in the position to make the massive investments needed to overcame this disaster..they never preface their interview with the simple question…"do you use Public or or private health care?'…now armed with that much needed context, the audience could more accurately frame the answers given.

            Another example..why is it that the bulk of 'economists' that RNZ use to inform us on the state of our country are private bank economists?…banks have only one objective..selling debt…why doesn't RNZ use the many respected economists from our Universities as their main source of this information?

            " My suggestion: just choose another lot to keep yourself happy"…don't you believe that RNZ should offer fair and balanced reporting?…because that is all I am asking them to produce…which, as the Durham report makes quite clear..they have not.

            • aj 3.1.1.2.1.1

              You know how it works. RNZ is rarely 'fair and balanced' when following the international MSM line. It was reported as truth 24/7, little or no critical thinking, the 'big lie' theory again prevailing and participants in this never want to back down. Good luck with KH. even acknowledging your email would be a surprise.

              • Adrian Thornton

                "Good luck with KH. even acknowledging your email would be a surprise"….actually I heard through a friend that most emails at at least read internally by the interns(?), which is something..you never know…planting seeds etc.

                I have over the years got into a couple of quite heated debates with various people at RNZ…though that is a rare thing to be sure.

                I am working on a Formal complaint about the lack of balance vis-à-vis the (lack of) reporting on The Durham Report, as opposed to the Wall to Wall coverage RNZ indulged in…again I know I am probably wasting my time..but I just can't sit by and watch this outrageous lack of journalistic integrity go without pushing back…even if it is the smallest of pin picks I offer in resistance, at least it is not nothing.

  4. Descendant Of Smith 4

    Hmmm so according to the Greens calculator my wife who can't work due to illness and disability will receive not one cent. I'll receive an extra $20-00 dollars a week which means that on top of the extra $6,000 more a year in tax I pay compared to a couple earning the same amount between them I'll now pay an extra ( they get an extra $18-00 per week each) $36 – $20 = $16 x 52 = $832 in tax on top of the $6,000.

    Apparently unwell partners, not working, not getting ACC and not getting a benefit are not considered as part of all people will be better off.

    As no doubt price and rents etc will increase as the private sector takes advantage of this extra citizen wealth I’m pretty sure all those in a similar position will be worse off.

    There is no provision in their calculator for are you unwell and unable to work.

    https://www.greens.org.nz/taxcalculator

    • Bearded Git 4.1

      There would always be fine-tuning in select committee for radical tax changes like this. Your issue would be addressed at that stage.

      Good to see that you have no problem with the Wealth Tax element of the policy though,. Clever that the Greens have framed it so that only 0.7% pay WT.

      • Descendant Of Smith 4.1.1

        It isn't going to affect me. Like most families who have come from abject poverty – arriving in NZ basically as refugees and penniless and not speaking English – it takes generations to accumulate wealth – with a few exceptions at either end – those who have managed it more quickly (in one case by being a ruthless landlord) and those who are still quite dysfunctional and will likely never accumulate and those with significant disability who will also likely never accumulate wealth.

        Then some who have have spent their wealth, as they should as they had the means to do so, on residential care facilities – in some cases over a million dollars.

        It is an interesting question this retaining of funds for following generations. The well off would have you believe anyone can start from scratch and become wealthy but at the same time want to preserve their wealth for the generations that follow them.

        The problem is is that they conflate anyone with everyone all the while knowing they are only for instance an accident, or a health issue, or a drug addiction away from that being true. It is about finding a balance between retaining enough to make the next generation better off but at the same time supporting the general population.

        I'm more supportive of things like taxation at sale of houses and art work etc – i.e. you tax at realisation and death duties and higher tax rates for higher incomes than the greens scheme. Things that most Western countries do and that we once did.

        Alternatively I'll well oft proffered that we should have turnover tax. Simple to administer, harder to avoid and a tax shared and spread across all businesses. Net off wage incomes at introduction so businesses that actually employ people don't have the PAYE equivalent cost that someone who does the same work with say a robot has.

        • tWiggle 4.1.1.1

          That's a really interesting point you bring up there on the effect of automation on tax income from PAYE.

        • Shanreagh 4.1.1.2

          I'm more supportive of things like taxation at sale of houses and art work etc – i.e. you tax at realisation and death duties and higher tax rates for higher incomes than the greens scheme. Things that most Western countries do and that we once did.

          Yes the sale of houses and the split up of assest at death make much more logical and convenient way points to charge a tax. As we know people buy and sell houses and die every day of the week.

          Turnover tax is fairer as well.

          If you call wealthy a person with a home in a city and a balance in Kiwisaver that they have been contributing to from 2007 then the resulting concept of 'wealth' is not one I am am really familar with.

          They have no assets to call on ie neither the house nor KS is liquid. In addtion the KS contribtuions are made from tax paid income ie it come out of the net salary after PAYE has been paid. So this is tax on tax paid income and it is also a tax on people who belive they have done the right things and provided as much as they can for their own retirement. Then if the family is one of a tradesperson who has set up a Trust to protect the family home from business losses, as is sensible and conservative financial planning advice they will get extra socked.

          On the other hand why not just adopt the tax rates The Greens have put up and see what happens then, if necessary. re-introduce death duties and some sort of transaction tax on real estate sales.

          As I have sad before Govt should explicitly fund the means to alleviate poverty even if it means that 'nice to have' ideas are pushed further out.

          Tagged funds, unless for something that has a beginning and end, like funds raised on tolls on the Auckland harbour bridge to pay for the construction are really disliked by Treasury (as I understand) and the like, and, as well, do deprive a Govt of being able to have all the funds at its disposal ie flexibility, and to make the allocations as it sees fit.

          Having death duties or a tax on the sale of a house are more natural way points in the cycle of life.

    • weka 4.2

      Apparently unwell partners, not working, not getting ACC and not getting a benefit are not considered as part of all people will be better off.

      Under the GP plan she would get a GMI of $767/wk (benefits would be individualised, not dependent on partner income like now). She would also be eligible for supplementary benefits and to earn up to $190/week before any abatement.

      People needing income support because of any kind of disability would be brought under a new agency call Agency for Comprehensive Care, which would take the out of all the work ready focus of WINZ.

      The Greens have indeed thought about this a lot and are the only party I am aware of that has done work on it.

      I wrote about this when the plan was released,

      Here’s the bit that really speaks to me of the intention to end poverty. The plan is to replace the various benefits for disabled and unwell people with a new Agency for Comprehensive Care (this also replaces ACC).

      • minimum payment of 80% of the full time minimum wage. Today that would be equivalent to $767/week, compared to the current Supported Living Payment of $385/week (both figures are in the hand). This cannot be overemphasised: current SLP rates force people who cannot work due to disability to live in poverty. SLP is the long term benefit for disabled people, and we keep them in poverty, forcing them to live off any savings and then sell their assets, and then subsist.
      • income support is individualised, so people in a relationship don’t become dependent on their partner

      Nothing has told me more about Labour’s ‘deserving poor but really you need to get a job’ approach to welfare than the fact that they have kept the SLP rate below what it is possible to live on. The bit they don’t say out loud is that people who are permanently so disabled they can’t work are consigned to permanent poverty. It’s mind boggling that this has never been addressed but the small amounts thrown the way of SLP doesn’t change the fact that if you cannot work you are fundamentally screwed. And there’s never been any good reason for it. It’s the major flaw in Labour’s welfare, as well as most UBI policies.

      .https://thestandard.org.nz/this-is-what-ending-poverty-looks-like-in-new-zealand/

      GP policy details https://assets.nationbuilder.com/beachheroes/pages/17574/attachments/original/1687385898/Tax_Full_Policy_Document_22June.pdf

      • weka 4.2.1

        The whole point of the plan is to lift everyone out of poverty. I'm curious if there are any examples where the plan doesn’t achieve that. I haven't seen any yet.

        • Descendant Of Smith 4.2.1.1

          I was aware of what was said in the policy – the calculator however tells a different story. So presumably the calculator doesn't care about those with disabilities either.

          My parents generation would have got a tax rebate for a non-working spouse. It would be interesting as to what difference that would have on reducing sole parent numbers by reducing financial stress on couples.

          Peter Dunn I think was the only politician to keep pushing for tax rebates in this situation.

          • weka 4.2.1.1.1

            would you mind saying what answers you put in the calculator? am I missing some detail?

            I think the problem is the calculator doesn't take disability into account. They really should be explaining that.

            This is what I get:

            1. do you own property/major assets? NO
            2. What's your annual income (other than benefit/WINZ)? $0
            3. Are you studying or looking for work? YES (you have to answer yes here, it's a flaw in the calculator)
            4. Do you have children? NO

            Result,

            You will receive $385 total per week

            Reading the actual policy, it's in two phase. In year one, your wife would get $470 tax free per week (plus other supports).

            In the second year they would set up the new ACC and she would then get the full $767+

        • Tony Veitch 4.2.1.2

          I'm curious if there are any examples where the plan does achieve that.

          Shouldn't that be "doesn't"?

    • tWiggle 4.3

      The Greens do have a policy to expand ACC coverage to non-accident disabilities, which may cover your partner. They have also championed individualisation of benefits, to better reflect the structure of C21th family finances in past policy.

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Sometimes collegial liaison behind the scenes flies under the media radar:

    Vietnam, which started sharing intelligence with Australia many years ago, and has received much help from the Indian navy with its submarines, is now cooperating at sea with the US and Japan, receiving retired naval vessels from both.

    The author's geopolitical analysis proceeds from this thesis: https://unherd.com/2023/06/how-putin-and-xi-resurrected-america/

    Years of talk in Europe of replacing the “increasingly outdated” US-directed Nato alliance with an alternative centred in the European Union ended abruptly last February when the Russians attempted to seize Kyiv in a day and Ukraine in a week. Had they succeeded, as both Russian and US intelligence had predicted (it was the always-wrong CIA that prompted Biden’s offer to evacuate Zelenskyy), Nato would have collapsed.

    Western media usually paints India as pro-Russia, but what if their foreign policy is cleverer than that? India last week paraded two aircraft carriers – giving them parity with China.

    Why did the Chinese keep pushing India until it was forced into an informal but powerful alliance with the United States? The only possible explanation is that China’s rulers are too absorbed in invisible but constant intra-party intrigues and too distracted by everyday matters to acquire any serious understanding of the outside world. The result is that foreign nations are reduced to caricatures, with the Indians written off as dirty and weak.

    Professor Edward Luttwak is a strategist and historian known for writing on grand strategy, geo-economics, military history, and international relations.

    • Dennis Frank 5.1

      Furthermore, from a different news site:

      Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Washington for a state visit this week. Beyond the black-tie dinner at the White House and a speech to Congress, there have been a lot of arms deals. Jets, drones, cyber capabilities, and more.

      India built a relationship with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and to this day, most of the Indian military’s weapons come from Russia. It wasn’t until the mid-2000s that India started buying arms from the United States, growing from around nothing in 2008 to $8 billion of US sales to the country by 2013, and to $20 billion in 2020.

      The US Embassy in New Delhi described an initiative to “fast-track technology cooperation and co-production in areas such as air combat and land mobility systems, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, munitions, and the undersea domain.”

      India wants to manufacture military and aerospace products. In this respect, the prospective General Electric engine deal represents a major change. Export controls and trade regulations have previously been a challenge for forging advanced production lines in India. “Engine technology is pretty sensitive,” says Vikram Singh of the United States Institute of Peace and the consulting firm WestExec Advisors. “This is a big, ambitious agenda.”

      https://www.vox.com/world-politics/2023/6/23/23770369/why-us-selling-india-so-many-weapons-drones-jet-engines

  6. The founder of Wagner Group in Russia is making serious accusations and threats against the Kremlin. Big challenge to Putin.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russian-mercenary-boss-says-moscows-war-ukraine-based-lies-2023-06-23/

    • Dennis Frank 6.1

      They may have to send in a commissar. That usually works in Russia.

      As a long-running standoff between him and the Defence Ministry appeared to come to a head, the ministry issued a statement, saying Prigozhin's accusations were "not true and are an informational provocation."

      Provocations are bad enough – particularly coming from military commanders aiming 180 degrees away from the enemy – but when they are informational as well you need an expert reframer to make people think correctly…

      earlier on Friday, he had appeared to cross a new line in his increasingly vitriolic feud with the Defence Ministry, saying that the Kremlin's rationale for invading Ukraine was based on lies concocted by the army's top brass.

      Gosh, war based on disinformation?? Surely not. Too crazy a notion for Putin to believe. But I guess the Wagnerian leader is pitching for resonance amongst the cadre of colonels in the high command. You know, the Gaddafi model:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1969_Libyan_coup_d%27%C3%A9tat

    • SPC 6.2

      Americans are missing Tucker Carlson on Fox (don’t know how to google RT) to get the “official Russian” point of view.

      https://twitter.com/davidfrum/status/1672378131389317120

  7. Sanctuary 7

    Sounds like a full scale war is breaking out between the Wagner Group and Russian Army units. At the very least, the Russian order of battle in Ukraine just lost 25,000 Wagner fighters.

    • Dennis Frank 7.1

      "A missile attack was launched on the camps of PMC (Private Military Company) Wagner. Many victims. According to eyewitnesses, the strike was delivered from the rear, that is, it was delivered by the military of the Russian Ministry of Defence."

      https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russian-mercenary-boss-says-moscows-war-ukraine-based-lies-2023-06-23/

      Prigozhin said he controlled 25,000 fighters and that together “we are going to figure out why the chaos is happening in the country.” “Anyone who wants should join. We need to end this mess,” he said.

      “Everyone who will try to resist, we will consider them a danger and destroy them immediately, including any checkpoints on our way. And any aviation that we see above our heads,” he added.

      Definitely a civil war scenario (despite seeming a tad uncivil). If it becomes a three-cornered fight, Ukraine may benefit, huh?

    • tsmithfield 7.2

      Yes, all on for young and old.

      I hope everyone has stocked up on popcorn.

      • joe90 7.2.1

        Meanwhile, in Kyiv…

        Artoir

        @ItsArtoir

        Bruh, I step away for 2 hours and russians themselves are reporting – A 50km Wagner convoy is on a thunder run to Rostov – Moscow is being locked down and the main highways closed – The head of the GRU made an emotional appeal for calm – Prigozhin wants Shoigu and Gerasimov hung

        https://twitter.com/ItsArtoir/status/1672380235541561345

        • Sanctuary 7.2.1.1

          Putin has gone from having the the second best army in the world to the second best army in the Ukraine to being the second best army in Russia in just three years.

    • Ad 7.3

      Anyone got stable information on the Wagner insurgence toward Rostov?

      • SPC 7.3.1

        Prigozhin claimed to have ordered troops loyal to him to move towards Rostov-on-Don, a major city in southern Russia

        A military column is on the move on the M-4 highway connecting Voronezh and Rostov-on-Don

        Voronezh is halfway to Moscow from Rostov-on-Don. Each way is a matter of hours.

        https://www.rt.com/russia/578553-prigozhin-armed-insurrection-updates/

      • Sanctuary 7.3.2

        Posted video seems to confirm Prigozhin and his forces have captured the headquarters of the Southern Military District in Rostov-on-Don (traditionally the home region of Wagner). So Wagner if have seized control of the city, it is also the key Russian supply hub for the entire war in the Ukraine.

        God only know what this is doing to Russian morale in Ukraine – in three to five days it'll be zero ammunition left if Prigozhin stays in charge. Prigozhin has said though they are not interfering in the war in Ukraine (!) and “our front in Ukraine is falling because of another reasons. We have lost huge territories there, many killed and wounded. In three four times more than official documents say. Sanitary losses is about 1,000 Russian soldiers per day.”

        At least on Russian helicopter gunship has been shotdown by Wagner forces. Apparently Putin is going to address the nation around 6pm NZ time…

    • SPC 7.4

      "Wagnerchefsky" paints a narrative of blame the Russian military for the war to save Putin from consequences (so he is seen as a patriot and ally of the President).

      The military will want him arrested and tried for treason.

      At one level it's about whether he has support for taking his forces into Moscow from others (he won't do it alone).

      Another player might be a military faction opposed to the war. A Yeltsin on the tanks move?

      • Scud 7.4.1

        Sounds like a whole Russia Army Corp has gone to Wagner,

        Rostov on Don is now under control of the Wagner including the Distinct Military Area HQ & the Force Commander has done the Harry Holt.

        The Rostov on Don Airport, latest reports has heavy's (Airlifters) bugging out quick time & other military aircraft capable of flying doing the same.

        Which means Russia is prepared to hold either place & that's bad news for the Russian Army on the Frontline battling Ukraine atm as Rostov on Don is the major Logistics Base including Base Workshops for Russia Military in Ukraine.

        Old mate from Belarus appears to have done the Harry Holt some 4-5hrs ago from Minsk a BJ left Minsk with its Transponder on, then went dark over Russia & suddenly reappeared over Turkey some hrs later with its Transponder on.

        As of about 4-5hrs one of the USAF Doomsday Command Aircraft was Airborne from it's home base reportedly heading Eastside & still had its Transponder on.

        Just heard that a major Russia City on the M4 roughly 6hrs between Moscow & Rostov on Don is now in the hands of the Wagner Group.

        Anyway has anyone pop over Bombers Blog & see how the pro Russia Supporters are handling this implosion 😂?

          • Scud 7.4.1.1.1

            I always believe a Coup of some sort was on the Bingo card down the track, but I wasn't expecting it so soon rather later if the current Ukrainian Offensive is successful in achieving it's goals.

            But anyway here we are LoL.

            • Ad 7.4.1.1.1.1

              Yes the standard Realist posture would have been that once there was a sustained Ukrainian breakthrough, only then would Putin prepare the tactical nuclear weapons, at which point Biden has to outline full network attacks.

              Instead the Russian military is completely breaking down.

              Events are in the saddle and we ride.

          • Sanctuary 7.4.1.1.2

            I do wonder though what the Russian protocols are if the SSBN force loses contact with home?

            Those guys are almost always tailed by a US SSN, the US subs will be going on to high alert and listening hard for the sound of launch tubes flooding.

            • Dennis Frank 7.4.1.1.2.1

              Unlikely unless things get real weird. I've been looking at the context:

              On 1 October 2022, he said about the commanders of the Russian army that "All these bastards ought to be sent to the front barefoot with just a submachine gun." He called members of the Putin-controlled Russian parliament "useless" and said that the "deputies should go to the front"… The Washington Post reported that Prigozhin was one of the few people who dared to tell Putin about the "mistakes" of Russian military commanders in the war in Ukraine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yevgeny_Prigozhin

              On 5 May 2023, he announced that, due to a lack of ammunition, his fighters will leave Bakhmut on 10 May 2023 and hand over their positions to units of the Russian Defense Ministry if they don't get more ammunition. He blamed Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and chief of the Russian armed forces Gen. Valery Gerasimov for "tens of thousands" of Wagner casualties, saying "They came here as volunteers and are dying so you can sit like fat cats in your luxury offices."

              So he's using those two guys as his target. Apparently relying on his historical relationship to Putin, so his fate will depend lots on whether Putin sees him as problem or solution. If Putin has lost faith in Shoigu, he could be using Wagner to force him out – but I suspect that scenario only comes into play if Putin's own position is so vulnerable that he can't act directly against his defense minister. In a cabal, loyalties can switch fast…

            • Scud 7.4.1.1.2.2

              I'm more concerned about the land base tactical and Artillery nukes that Russia still has in service.

        • Dennis Frank 7.4.1.2

          from Al Jazeera:

          Wagner chief Prigozhin has claimed to be inside the Russian army headquarters in Russia’s southern Rostov-on-Don city and that his fighters were in control of the city’s military sites.

          “We are inside the (army) headquarters, it is 7:30 am (04:30 GMT),” Prigozhin said in a video on Telegram, according to the AFP news agency. “Military sites in Rostov, including an aerodrome, are under control,” the Wagner chief said.

          https://www.aljazeera.com/news/liveblog/2023/6/24/russia-ukraine-live-news-russia-accuses-wagner-chief-of-mutiny

        • SPC 7.4.1.3

          He says it will just be a "protest march" all the way to Moscow.

          Will the force sent down the M4 from Moscow "fight" to stop him getting there?

          And will in Russian based units of the military see it as chance to end their involvement in that war by joining the protest. On the way to Moscow, or when he arrives?

          TDB just has a recent post from BB saying who saw that coming.

          Morgan's next look at the offensive will note any changes in Russian defensive positions, to account for the new front on the M4.

          Sort of makes one think of the name Kerensky.

          • Dennis Frank 7.4.1.3.1

            Kerensky smiley a footnote in history, but for a few months ruler of Russia…

            Any kinda shit liable to hit the fan in the next hours/days. Putin may be aghast:

            a close confidant of Russian president Vladimir Putin… Prigozhin is sometimes called "Putin's chef", as he owns restaurants and catering companies that provide services for the Kremlin.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yevgeny_Prigozhin

            because he may not get his meals delivered from here on in… crying

        • Ad 7.4.1.4

          Thankyou Scud I had hoped that you would contribute your usual deep network intel.

          Greatly appreciated, and please keep it up through the next 48 hours.

          Putin is due to address Russia and it needs to be better than Yeltsin did.

          • Scud 7.4.1.4.1

            He apparently running half hr late, just wondering if the double's are running late 😂😂

      • Sanctuary 7.4.2

        Visual confirmation of three Russian helicopters shot down by Wagner.

        • Scud 7.4.2.1

          Also noticed that a number of S400's (SAM's) are being moved in & around Moscow now on top of Local Air Defence Units already based in Moscow.

          It's been suggested, that this is probably due to that the Major Military Airbase at Rostov on Don is now in Wagner Hands & rumblings of other Airbases turning.

          • Ad 7.4.2.1.1

            Presumably the Russian National Guard is still demonstrating loyalty to Putin?

            Is there indication of Russian Army groups being either neutral to the uprising, or outright joining them?

            Either way this is the start of a Russian civil war.

            • Scud 7.4.2.1.1.1

              It's appears they are either staying loyal with the State or with Wagner.

              From what I understand & hearing elsewhere those Russia outside of the Fighting & B Ech are swapping sides when the Wagner Group approaches, but this may change as the Wagner Group approaches Moscow (but that is definitely an know unknown)

              Still trying to find out situation on the Ukrainian frontline, if the Russians are collapsing/ withdrawing. But Ukrainian's are a very good OPSEC, so they should btw.

            • Adrian Thornton 7.4.2.1.1.2

              "Either way this is the start of a Russian civil war"….really…according to who exactly?

              • lprent

                ….really…according to who exactly?

                Apparently you are as usual not keeping up with world events (actually you seem to be trying to live somewhere in a timewarp at the middle of the last century).

                Putin said it most recently in his speech. translated speech transcript from aljazerra

                Thus, the actions splitting our unity are a betrayal of our people, of our brothers in combat who fight now at the front line. It’s a stab in the back of our country and our people.

                It was such a blow that was dealt to Russia in 1917 when the country was fighting in World War I, but its victory was stolen.

                Intrigues, bickering and politicking behind the back of the army and the people turned out to be the greatest catastrophe, the destruction of the army and the state, loss of huge territories, resulting in a tragedy and a civil war.

                Russians were killing Russians, brothers killing brothers. The beneficiaries of that were various political chevaliers of fortune and foreign powers who divided the country, and tore it into parts.

                We will not let this happen again. We will protect our people and state from any threats, including internal betrayal. What we’re facing is exactly a betrayal.

                There was an interesting analysis in the NYT (may be paywalled) ‘We will not let this happen again’: Putin evokes Russia’s civil war of a century ago.

                FFS: Adrian – don’t you ever read any history? You’d have to be a historical illiterate not to know this as a theme in Russian politics..

                Putin got put into power back in 1999 pretty much on a promise of dealing with the internal discord and repeated attempts to overthrow the government. His rhetoric at the time was against all separatists and frequently invoked references about the undermining of the armed forces that led to the 1917 revolution and the 5 year civil war afterwards.

                Of course he has been doing a shit job at the task in recent years. Forming a large mercenary force like Wagner that is 2-3x larger than our defence force to do the dirty work for Russia is a pretty clear sign.

                Ummm I can’t see the article I was reading about it this morning, I guess I didn’t bookmark it. However there are quite a lot of material about the way that military figures, companies and oligarchs in Russia have been forming large private armies. Like this from a brief search

                Other private armies are also on the rise. Defence minister Sergei Shoigu’s private army, Patriot, has been operating in Ukraine since 2014, and oligarch Gennady Timchenko’s private army, Redut, originally created to protect his company’s gas field, is also present in Ukraine. Not to mention the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s army. On 7 February the gas giant Gazprom announced it was creating its own private military company.

                The current reports of the Gazprom private army (aka security force) seem to indicate that it was approaching 50k light infantry troops.

                There is pretty good analysis of why the current and recent formations of PMC in Russia is happening in this sort of amusing (in a horrid fascination sense) by a Bulwark writer Why Russian Energy Giant Gazprom Is Mustering a Private Army that has the tag line of “It’s less about command and control than currying favor.”

                Which just leads to the historic role of private armies in the lead up to civil wars and political balancing of authoritarian regimes – while I naturally think of Roman/Byzantine and Renaissance history, the Bulwark writer thinks of more modern instances. However the pattern of private armies by nobles being balanced by a monarch … well that is exactly what they describe about modern Russia..

                Alas, despite Putin’s vaunted “vertical of power,” it’s more like a pyramid, with independent routes to the same summit. Even before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine a year ago, the list of armed groups in Russia with independent and often overlapping authority was troublingly long: In addition to the Ministry of Defense, there were also the Federal Security Service, the Federal Protective Service, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the National Guard (Rosgvardia), Wagner, and Kadyrov’s semi-autonomous government in Chechnya. That list doesn’t include organizations that operate exclusively outside the Russian Federation or the more mysterious litany of individuals and organizations who use cutouts in organized crime to do their dirty business. Not all of these groups are equally powerful or have the same kind of power, but that’s the point—they all have independent links to the real source of power, Putin, who is adept at balancing one against the other. It’s not an efficient way to run a government, but it’s a great way to protect against coups. Other authoritarian regimes that maintain(ed) overlapping or multi-tiered security services include Iran, Iraq, and Nazi Germany.

                Hard to see a difference between that and the current chaos in Russia and the kind of eventual unbalancing of the balanced power plays caused (for instance) the Magna Carta in 1215 (and subsequent agreements of a autocratic state).

                • Adrian Thornton

                  I love the way this guy, with a straight face, actually puts up a NYT piece on Putin/Russia lol….

                  BTW, what do you thing all those Ukrainian Right wing militia are?….do you really think they are loyal to Zelensky?

                  The Waffen SS was pretty damn close to a private army…the better units of their foreign fighters proved to be pretty loyal right to the end…and not just the Eastern European ones…which fight to the end for obvious reasons.

                  I believe the vast majority of Wagner fighters are, like most Russian troops fighting now..Russian patriots…in their minds (and I guess now it is some what true) the Russian Motherland is under an existential threat from the West…the Russian are never going to stop fighting in this war now…that is just a plain fact…I know plenty of our local commentors get a boner thinking about a Russian collapse…that is never going to happen….you claim to be student of history..so you must understand that this much is at least, is historically, to be true.

    • joe90 7.5

      I guess that's a yes to civil war.

      IanMatveev

      @ian_matveev

      Погранпереход Бугаевка, Воронежская область. "ЧВК Вагнер" без сопротивления разоружил роту российских военных

      Translated from Russian by

      Bugaevka border crossing, Voronezh region. "PMC Wagner" without resistance disarmed a company of Russian military

      https://twitter.com/ian_matveev/status/1672499354555363329

      Dmitri

      @wartranslated

      Putin: The battle for the fate of our people against the West needs unity … Thus, actions dividing us are a betrayal of our brothers-in-arms … a strike to the back of our people … like in 1917 … when our country was divided … We will not let this happen … it's an internal BETRAYAL.

      https://twitter.com/wartranslated/status/1672501823377162241

      • joe90 7.5.1

        @KevinRothrock

        Putin’s full national address condemning the insurrection, with English-language subtitles.

        https://twitter.com/KevinRothrock/status/1672518352449724419

        edit;
        translated transcript

        https://meduza.io/en/feature/2023/06/24/we-re-faced-with-a-betrayal

        • Scud 7.5.1.1

          This is about 30-45min old, but if anyone does jump Flight Radar or Flight Tracker atm.

          You would see that every man & his dog who has access to a BJ (business jet) is doing the great Australian Dance called the Harry Holt atm since Tsar Poot's State of the Nation Address & interesting thing about these flights is there is no end destination on the Transponder Info.

          Speculation suggests they are heading to Turkey, Cyprus or Israel with their I'll gotten gains atm?

      • SPC 7.5.2

        The battle for the fate of our people against the West needs unity … Thus, actions dividing us are a betrayal of our brothers-in-arms … a strike to the back of our people … like in 1917 … when our country was divided … We will not let this happen … it's an internal BETRAYAL.

        Kerensky replacing the Tsar and continuing the Russian role in WW1 and being ousted by Bolsheviks

        The Bolsheviks pulling out of the WW1 (the West being Germany and Austria-Hungary and the Turks)

        White Russians opposing Bolshevik rule.

        One wonders who Putin (attacking Ukraine to acquire territory) identifies with.

  8. Stephen D 8

    Election 2023: Herald’s poll of polls has Labour edging National – coalition with Greens, Te Pāti Māori well ahead

    I don’t pay the premium.

    Anybody got the numbers?

    • ianmac 8.1

      They have a lot of numbers and graphs showing options today and on election day:

      Factoring in National’s most-likely coalition partner, the right bloc with Act’s 11 per cent reaches 45.6 per cent, compared to 8 per cent for the Greens, which typically sides with Labour, and together those two parties reach 43 per cent….

      Neither could govern alone on those numbers and with 3.4 per cent of the vote, Te Pāti Māori again finds itself in a kingmaker position. But with National Party leader Christopher Luxon having ruled out working with them in any scenario, the most likely governing coalition would be Labour, Greens and Te Pāti Māori.

      That coalition has a 51.1 per cent likelihood of occurring if an election were to be held this weekend, dropping to 50.1 per cent on polling day (October 14).

      The most likely post-election government formation remains the one that was taken off the table by Luxon – one involving National, Act and Te Pāti Māori, which is now up to 99.7 per cent (dropping to 86 per cent on election night).

    • newsense 8.2

      Lol- any good news for Labour is premium only…

  9. Stephen D 9

    In reply to DF at 2. (Can’t reply on iPad)

    In China it is as its always been since the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BCE). The Emperor is absolute ruler, until he loses The Mandate of Heaven. Currently the Mandate is held by Xi.

  10. Incognito 10

    This is an very powerful piece about what makes us who we are, about what we all possess, about what we all can share, and about what we all long for.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/the-cancer-patient-who-changed-my-approach-to-medicine

    • Patricia Bremner 10.1

      Thank you for that Incognito.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 10.2

      I think we remember our Teachers ..(hopefully the good more than the bad)

      With this essay, and his very empathic experience with Ereuti, I think Thomas will go on to be a great Teacher…

      Along with penicillin and morphine, asking and listening are among the most essential tools in our medicine cabinets. Sometimes, a simple smile is top-shelf medicine.

      I know I have many technical skills to learn. But Ereuti showed me that sometimes it is the humanity we all possess that is the most powerful medicine.

  11. tWiggle 11

    Orca-ing on for those interested, this Newsweek article from May gives background for the multiple orca pod attacks on boats around Portugal.

    'The orcas are doing this on purpose, of course. We don't know the origin or the motivation, but defensive behavior based on trauma, as the origin of all this, gains more strength for us every day," said Alfredo López Fernandez [who is on the Atlantic Orca Working Group].

    '…the initiating female, which they have named White Gladis, may have been struck by a vessel in the past, which has made her lash out against all boats as a means of defense.' Orca pods are matriarchal, led by older female orcas.

  12. tWiggle 12

    Aljazeera: Australia gives Twitter 28 days to sort out ‘toxicity and hate’

    Australia has legislation addressing social media content providers. This action, which will end up costing twitter $700k per day if twitter doesn't tidy up its content, is one way that anti-hate legislation could function here.

    Then again, Musk being who he is, and acting as an individual, not a corporate, may drop Australia out of the Starlink array in retaliation. A whole new type of ass-ymetrical warfare between the ultra-rich and states, I think.

  13. Dennis Frank 13

    Bit of a worry & I wonder if it's trending thing: https://edition.cnn.com/2023/06/23/weather/iowa-meteorologist-resigns-threats-weather-climate/index.html

    Chris Gloninger spent the last 18 years breaking down Iowa’s latest local weather news. After spending the last two years as chief meteorologist at Des Moines news station KCCI, a CNN affiliate, Gloninger announced Wednesday he is resigning as one of the many faces of local TV weather.

    His departure comes months after receiving a series of harassing emails from a viewer who disagreed with one thing he did on-air: he explained how weather was linked to the climate crisis.

    He also received other negative feedback via private messages and social media, which has become a common experience for weather and climate communicators. The decision was not easy, Gloninger told the Washington Post, but in a tweet announcing his exit, he cited a “death threat stemming from my climate coverage” which he said resulted in post-traumatic stress.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2023/06/23/weather/iowa-meteorologist-resigns-threats-weather-climate/index.html

    The emails "called the meteorologist a “liberal conspiracy” theorist". In fairness to the neanderthal, it's true that the link between weather & climate is tenuous enough to require a grasp of the science of complexity for comprehension…

  14. Stephen D 14

    Replying to tW at 11.

    Herman Melville tells stories about sperm whales behaving the same way in Moby Dick.

    • tWiggle 14.1

      Yup, before the advent of explosive-propelled harpoons and machine-powered boats, it was a much more even battle between ceteans and humans.

  15. Reality 15

    A Wellington problem – a proposal to ban all private cars from Parliament, Lambton Quay, Willis Street, Manners Street, to Courtenay Place, and side streets. Lots of noise about this marvellous plan. Little noise on how people will cart their shopping purchases (some of which could be bulky or heavy) around on foot. Little noise on how those who have medical, dental, legal, business appointments in the inner city will access those places if they live well out of the inner city. Or those who want to go to the Opera House or a restaurant or the new convention centre.

    Most of Wellington extends far beyond the "golden mile", which seems to escape these "planners". Catch a bus? Given the very unreliable bus service that is year after year showing little improvement – dream on. For the elderly, those with a disability, or with young children, this will make getting about difficult. And the "planners" think it is a good idea to remove some bus stops on the golden mile route.

    The city businesses and retailers are alarmed and retailers have said many will close down and go to the Hutt or Porirua. Want to visit a vibrant, busy inner city? It won't be central Wellington. The cyclists and walkers are not the whole population.

    • Belladonna 15.1

      "The city businesses and retailersare alarmed and retailers have said many will close down and go to the Hutt or Porirua. Want to visit a vibrant, busy inner city? It won't be central Wellington."

      It won't be Auckland either.

      I have been volunteering in the CBD this week (a rare occurrence – location, that is, not volunteering) – and the number of closed shops and substantial drop in foot traffic – especially at the top end of town – is notable. Conversion of Queen St (the central city road) to bus only (with a limited number of other exceptions) has not made any substantial improvement on 'walkability' (having a series of large buses zoom past you is no more enjoyable than having cars doing the same thing).

    • satty 15.2

      Did you ever shop on the "Golden Mile" or you just make stuff up?
      Where exactly did you park with your car for that shopping?

      On Lambton Quay, apart from the north end between Old Bailey and Midland Park, which is the "dead end" shopping-wise, there are exactly 5 parking spaces.

      On Willis Street between Manners and Lambton are zero car parks.

      On Manners, there are also exactly zero car parks.

      On Courtney Place are around 50 car parks mainly at the Embassy Cinema end (last time I counted, however there are times you can't park on the bus lanes, so less at some times). I couldn't think of a single "shop" in that area though.

      Those roads are through traffic only, like the rest of the CBD. People simply driving through, nobody really has the intention to shop or do business… it's simple a dozen "state highway substitute" lanes in between high-rise buildings.

      You sound like a typical NZ car-fashist fighting for every little square centimetre of road… you lack any form of imagination how good a walkable CBD like Wellington could be.

  16. newsense 16

    The promise to hard working Kiwis is that everyone can afford their own home if they work hard, enjoy their weekends and holidays in Godzone and pass on a better world to their children. That’s the Kiwi compact Chris Lux. You’re going to take us backward on all of it, given half a chance.

    It doesn’t mean a few people with a lot of houses controlling the rules and everyone’s happiness. It doesn’t cheap houses in flood zones so the owners have to get PTSD every time the rain hits their roof.

    It doesn’t mean Hawaiian holidays where you can run down NZ.

    What does mojo mean? More empty words.

    Willis either needs to coup up or stop pretending Luxon ball on housing is better than her already fairly timid accord was.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/132410875/christopher-luxon-tells-party-strong-national-government-needed-for-nzs-mojo

  17. weka 17

    Can anyone give me a two paragraph explainer on what is happening in Russia right now? (an in person explanation, not a link to read, thanks).

    • Dennis Frank 17.1

      Not me, but this from Politico may help:

      • Russia’s FSB security agency said it has opened a criminal case against Prigozhin “for the organization of armed insurrection.”
      • Prigozhin claimed his troops have moved into Russia’s Rostov, and vowed: “If anyone gets in our way, we will destroy everything!”
      • Videos have circulated on social media reportedly showing unidentified armed troops entering Rostov-on-Don, the administrative center of the Rostov region, and seizing government buildings.
      • The governor of Rostov warned residents to stay indoors.
      • Russia’s defense ministry said Ukrainian forces are “taking advantage of Prigozhin’s provocation” on the front lines around Bakhmut.
      • Prigozhin claimed around 100,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in the war on Ukraine.
      • Putin has been briefed on the situation, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, according to Russian state media.
      • Prigozhin’s move comes after he claimed 2,000 Wagner men were killed as a result of strikes ordered by Russia’s Ministry of Defense

      https://www.politico.eu/article/putin-in-crisis-as-wagner-chief-prigozhin-declares-war-on-russian-military-leadership/

      • Dennis Frank 17.1.1

        This provides useful context:

        a source close to the Kremlin said that Prigozhin's threats of revolt were the result of the competing military power structures that had emerged amid Russia's war on Ukraine. "The problem is that in the case of Prigozhin, we got a classic example of two armies and many decision-making centers in the system," the source told The Moscow Times.

        https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2023/06/23/prigozhin-charged-with-inciting-armed-revolt-after-vowing-to-stop-evil-military-leadership-a81615

        There did not appear to be a notable police presence at the Wagner Group's headquarters in St. Petersburg. Independent news outlets reported that Russian state media outlets were barred from citing any of Prigozhin’s statements. In a video posted to Telegram by Andrei Rudyenko, a state-affiliated war correspondent, Russian General Sergei Surovikin called on Wagner fighters to lay down their arms.

        Over the past year or so, Prigozhin "has felt like a messiah" due to his ability to openly critique the handling of the war effort without punishment, another Russian official who has worked closely with the Wagner leader told The Moscow Times. "He's on a white horse… Prigozhin created an army, achieved success in the war, got the right to say things that no one else can say… And now he felt like a messiah. And all the way, not once did he fall off the horse…"

        Confident enough to feel he's still in the saddle. Putin will have to feed him one of those plutonium sandwiches he's so good at…

      • weka 17.1.2

        seeing as how I don't know who Prigozhin is, no it doesn't help.

        • Dennis Frank 17.1.2.1

          Prigozhin profile here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yevgeny_Prigozhin

          • weka 17.1.2.1.1

            Like I said, I don't want links (I know how to use google). I want a human to explain it to me in simple terms. I ask because in situations like this reading almost never gives me the answer I want (I tried this again today before asking. MSM articles are all starting in the middle of the story)

            • Dennis Frank 17.1.2.1.1.1

              Okay, I get it. This is how it seems to me: he's serious about doing a coup, but the murk obscures his current attitude to Putin. Not very helpful, I know, but in the fog of war even assertions of fact are suspect. For instance, I saw earlier statements from the guy in which he signalled he still supports Putin. My take is that his target is whoever took out 2000 of his men with a missile.

              That was either a Russian Army General in command of the missile corps acting on instructions of their Defense Minister or maybe directly in response to Putin himself…

            • Belladonna 17.1.2.1.1.2

              I'll do my best – but I'm not over all of the detail.

              To the best of my understanding:

              • The Wagner group (founded and led by Prigozhin) – is a Russian paramilitary organization or private army. It's technically illegal in Russia – but is widely suspected of being officially sanctioned by Putin – to give him plausible deniability over some of the more … illegal … actions Russia has carried out both inside and outside it's borders.
              • The Wagner group has been heavily involved in the Russia-Ukraine war – and has been implicated in many (though not all) of the human rights violations. They are serious bad news – at least at an individual level.
              • Prigozhin has been conducting a war of words with the Russian defence minister, Sergei Shoigu – over supply and treatment of his troops. There seems to be no doubt that there is a political element behind this – and some speculation that Prigozhin sees himself as another Stalin.
              • This war of words has escalated. Prigozhin has apparently threatened to 'remove' Shoigu (Wagner Group are specialist assassins – so this may be a literal threat)
              • Prigozhin claims that Russian forces have launched rocket attacks on Wagner Group bases in Ukraine. There seems to be no doubt that someone has attacked them – and apparently from Russia – though considerable doubt over the actual casualties.
              • Prigozhin has moved across the Russian border from Ukraine to Rostov-on-Don. He claims to have 25,000 soldiers, and is calling on Russians to join him in a “march of justice” – and claiming that the border guards came out and welcomed his troops.
              • Russian federal security service have launched an investigation into Prigozhin for armed rebellion (which seems to be, de facto, true)
              • There is (AFAIK) no confirmation that Prigozhin is in occupation of the city of Rostov, or that he has shot down helicopters. But this has been widely reported on social media. Rostov is around 1,000 Km from Moscow.
              • Russia is claiming that much of this is false news: "claims do not correspond to reality and are intended to misinform."
              • 'Anti-terrorist' measures have been introduced in Moscow (road controls, limits on public events, etc.). So some evidence that Russia is taking this seriously, in practice, if not in words.

              A couple of sources – readable if light on detail

              https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/6/23/russian-authorities-launch-criminal-probe-into-wagner-group

              https://edition.cnn.com/2023/06/23/europe/russia-mod-wagner-yevgeny-prigozhin-intl/index.html

              • tWiggle

                Wagner zoomed up to Russian Defense HQ (a good 13 h at full-speed from Moscow), Prigozhin popped in to have a friendly chat with the commander there plus local militia, then apparently Wagner have mostly left again by 4 pm NZ time. Prigozhin is known for perfomative tantrums to leverage resources.

                ‘Another update on Rostov – most of the Wagner force seems to have departed, with remaining vehicles powered down and only a handful of Wagner and Rosgvardia troops remaining at the Southern Military District HQ building in the city centre.' tweet on Defense Politics Asia twitter at nz4pm

              • weka

                thanks, that's very helpful

  18. Dennis Frank 18

    Oz Legalise Cannabis Party launches joint offensive:

    Huge news for Australasian cannabis law reform, with the resurgent Legalise Cannabis Party, which now holds seats in the Upper Houses of three states, introducing simultaneous bills to legalise personal use and possession… After tabling the Bill on Tuesday, Dr Brian Walker MLC (Member of Parliament for the Legalise Cannabis Party in Western Australia) posted: “In an Australian first, the Legalise Cannabis Party introduced legislation into the Victorian, NSW and WA Parliaments today, aimed at allowing home growth, personal possession, and the ability to gift cannabis between individuals.”

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2023/06/24/marijuana-media-you-beauties-aussie-legalise-cannabis-party-our-name-says-it-all-introduces-bills-in-wa-victoria-and-nsw/

    Australian Associated Press reported “A spokeswoman for Legalise Cannabis Victoria MP Rachel Payne told AAP the party was formulating a three-stage plan, the second step of which would include extending rights for consumers with the development of “co-operatives” and expunging historical personal use convictions.”

    Melbourne’s The Age said Legalise Cannabis is in a “joint offensive” but warned “The bills, to be introduced in the upper houses, are doomed to fail without the support of major parties that have been reluctant to soften drug policing. Victorian MP Rachel Payne wouldn’t rule out blocking government bills to get the necessary support, but said she preferred to work cooperatively.”

    Here, "Party leader Michael Appleby, a former Barrister, human rights lawyer and law lecturer, said “Ending prohibition of cannabis is the most important social injustice needing to be fixed in this country.” You bet! yes

  19. Incognito 19

    Chris Bishop, just like his leader Chris Luxon, does what he does best: looking in the rear view mirror to the past.

    He doesn’t realise that Jacinda Ardern has been gone for 5 months and that we have a new PM, which is not surprising when he’s using AI that has been trained on data up to 2021.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2023/06/chris-bishop-claims-new-zealanders-sick-of-ardern-style-politics.html

    I wonder what policies for the future the AI has suggested to National and I can’t wait to hear them.

  20. Ad 20

    In case no one saw this black ops from the PM's team in action:

    First you send Mahuta the Minister of Foreign Affairs to China directly after demoting her, so the Chinese officials know that they can attack her with impunity since she has been shamed.

    Then the PM's team organise a major trip to China and deliberately exclude Mahuta the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

    Then on the day you leave for China, you drop an anonymous story that Mahuta was indeed attacked with impunity, and you name all the other ministers excluding Mahuta that will accompany the Prime Minister to China.

    So now everyone knows, Mahua is Dead Woman Walking.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politics/nanaia-mahuta-received-dressing-down-from-chinese-foreign-minister-reports/QLPJDQEJ5JEQJLQT4UMA7E6M4Q/

    That is true School of Malcom Tucker.

    • Dennis Frank 20.1

      You may be over-dramatising – sounds just like the usual `full & frank exchange of views'. She hasn't complained about the harangue, has she?

      I wondered at the time if it was a covert racist demotion but he elevated both Willie & Peeni in the ratings so obviously not. I figured it must be punishment for the Three Waters schmozzle last year.

    • newsense 20.2

      There’ll be bends in the Waikato river long after this latest lot have gone.

      Ad loves this stuff doesn’t he (sorry pronoun check?)? There’s been a change in leadership and in emphasis, but it must be slimy 3rd way machinations.

      Or possibly it’s the PM underlining the importance of the relationship with our number one trading partner?

      Still though- used to be able to say there’d been two MPs for Mt Albert since 1947.

      Priyanca in Mark Gosche’s old seat, though I’m sure it’s been quite redrawn, is now looking currently the most settled Labour MP in the inner suburbs and we’ve got a Mayor selling off the last few assets Auckland City has…

      And Eden Park expecting the government to act as its booking agent…

      • Belladonna 20.2.1

        Still though- used to be able to say there’d been two MPs for Mt Albert since 1947.

        Not since 2009 – when Clark resigned.

        Since then, Shearer and Ardern, and now White (as L candidate) – hopefully for the long term.

        • newsense 20.2.1.1

          That still feels recent for me!

          Then you run into some amazing bright, content, twelve year old digital native, who was born in this year doesn’t even know how shocking the Taylor Swift/Kanye beef was..

          But my point stands vaguely about stability and strength in Auckland and maybe not a continuity of ideology, but certainly of personnel!

  21. Incognito 21

    It was those aliens in them UFOs! The shapeshift into bats, just like Batman, and then spread nasty little nano-bugs that emit 5G back to their home planet.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2023/06/us-intelligence-agencies-find-no-evidence-covid-19-pandemic-started-in-wuhan-lab.html

  22. observer 22

    National Party leader gives speech at conference.

    Sorry, I mean "photocopies old speech at conference".

    Literally the same words.

    Kiwis are sensing what I see every time I return to Parliament. Helen Clark has lost her mojo. That's right, she's lost her mojo.

    The same promises, too …

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0704/S00478.htm

  23. observer 23

    Luxon says he supports the "Crusaders", and has done since he was a little boy. Only problem is, when he was a boy the Crusaders didn't even exist.

    Rugby doesn't really matter, but casually lying, that's a habit he can't break.

    https://twitter.com/ClintVSmith/status/1672448276967325697

    • SPC 23.1

      He left Christchurch at age 7 in 1977 (move to Auckland).

      He missed the early years of the Super comp living overseas

      Sydney (1995–2000), London (2000–2003), Chicago (2003–2008) and Toronto (2008–2011).

      • Patricia Bremner 23.1.1

        yesYes, so Chippy and team can go in to bargain having "paid our dues" with the strategy.

        Nanaia is staunch and plays a long game. A very genuine person, who understands game politics better than most having dealt with Tainui for years.

    • higherstandard 23.2

      Steve Pearson needs to get out of his mum's basement a bit more.

      • observer 23.2.1

        The award for "desperate diversion of the day" has now been won. Congrats to HS.

        • higherstandard 23.2.1.1

          Hey Clint.

          [You have form with (diversion) trolling and contribute nothing but noise on this site.

          Take three weeks off and any next ban will see you through till at least the end of this year – Incognito]

          • SPC 23.2.1.1.1

            Once in a thousand year events.dot com wants footage of sightings of the Loch Ness monster and Christopher Luxon at a rugby game in Christchurch.

          • Incognito 23.2.1.1.2

            Mod note

    • weka 23.3

      Luxon says he supports the "Crusaders", and has done since he was a little boy. Only problem is, when he was a boy the Crusaders didn't even exist.

      The Canterbury regional rugby team did though right? and this is what he will have been meaning.

      • SPC 23.3.1

        Does a person who confuses supporting Canterbury with the Crusaders actually follow the game?

        His father probably supported Canterbury (home province) while the family was in Auckland.

        • weka 23.3.1.1

          he could have said "I support the Crusaders, I supported the Canterbury team as a little boy until they turned into the Crusader and then I supported the Crusaders". I guess.

          • SPC 23.3.1.1.1

            Not so much. Canterbury continues to be the local provincial team competing in the NPC (around since 1976) in September-October. The Crusaders are a regional franchise (also includes North and South Canterbury, Marlborough and Nelson Bays – now Tasman in the NPC) who compete in Super Rugby March-June.

            He might have memories of his fathers Cantab parochialism from his youth and maybe of his father later becoming a Crusaders fan.

  24. SPC 24

    No Ashes cricket this weekend.

    No chance to sledge the Aussies on BBC (where they are/can be surprisingly precious about it).

    The name Cameron means "crooked nose", some teams never get the rub of the green. Ball tampering, whether on sandpaper or grass, is an Oz speciality. A bit like like their infamous low to the ground bowling.

    Gill was robbed of a match winning double century and if the wicket is not under water by tea, the Shubman has been denied justice.

    Your comment was considered to have broken the following House Rule:

    "We reserve the right to fail comments which…Are considered likely to disrupt, provoke, attack or offend others Are racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable Contain swear words or other language likely to offend".

    I'm working on a new one, Bishop Carey plays for the Church of England, Alex is just a cartoon character. Probably for the Lords test.

  25. Sanctuary 25

    Ukrainian twitter is breaking out the good stuff and having a great time.

    Russia says it has destroyed 39 Wagner HIMARS launchers and 52 Wagner Leopard 2 tanks. What I want to know is should the US supply Wagner with ATACMS?

    • alwyn 25.1

      Did you mean to write this?

      Where the hell did the Wagner Group get Leopard tanks from?

      • SPC 25.1.1

        Ukrainian twitter has been known to spoof the Russians.

        • Descendant Of Smith 25.1.1.1

          Yeah I'm surprised Ukraine hasn't offered a deal to Putin to have all their land given back in return for Ukraine helping Russia with their Wagner problem.

          Ends the war, restores the borders, Wagner's gone.

          • In Vino 25.1.1.1.1

            I do not know the truth, but you people are all so jingoistic and gung-ho.

            How about this: The Ukranian counter-offensive is a big paper tiger, already stopped dead in its tracks.

            The Russians have upped their game, and were never as weak as Western propaganda suggested.

            If indeed the Wagner subsect are rebelling, they will go the same way as the Ukrainian counter-offensive. . Down.

            As I say, I do not know, but I am becoming weary of people eagerly pushing

            one-sided propaganda.

            • Descendant Of Smith 25.1.1.1.1.1

              It was a comment on the way Ukraine spoofs Russia. Nothing more, nothing less.

            • tWiggle 25.1.1.1.1.2

              Vino, while I think Putin is the aggressor, and Ukraine have played a strong game to maintain their independence, I realise the propaganda nature of pro-Ukraine news, particularly military news. Let's face it, what we see in most of Western media has an optimistic spin, aimed at citizens of the nations which help fund and supply Ukraine's defense. I find nothing wrong with that, as long as the average reader adjusts for the slant.

              Many Ukrainian men have been mobilised to the latest push from Ukraine. Ground forces are clearly bogged down in a stalemate trench war, with ground being won and lost meadow by meadow.

              Who knows how this will finish? Ukraine is being strategic about taking out supply depots inside Russia. Russia has armed Belarus with nuclear arms, expanding its own sphere of influence, and it may open a new front from the north. It's clearly imported more arms from elsewhere, and is heavily bombarding across Ukraine. Putin can still provide plenty of cannon fodder for the front.

              Seems to be a precarious balance in this war at the moment. I predict it will be Russia that ups the stakes next.

              • Adrian Thornton

                "Let's face it, what we see in most of Western media has an optimistic spin, aimed at citizens of the nations which help fund and supply Ukraine's defense. I find nothing wrong with that, as long as the average reader adjusts for the slant"…

                Are you serious?..you see no problem with our media spewing straight out propaganda to our fellow citizens at the behest of the state…you know we are not at war with Russia, right?

                • tWiggle

                  I have talked before about the difference between positive proaganda aimed to keep morale high, and outright lies. What we see from inside Ukraine are the opitmistic stories: men heroically going to the front, local resostance to Russian occupation, marshalling a Ukraine pushback. Not lies, but only the positive part of the truth.

                  Under war conditions, this is justified, I think. There would be a better balance in the Western media if the Putin-controlled Russian media didn't blatantly and verifiably lie to their citizens and to the world. Mix up truth with an ultra-large helping of blatant shit, and you lose your credibility to outside media. In contrast, I don't think Ukraine media stories are fabricated, rather spun.

                  Realists know that war is ambiguous and shitty, and nobody is having a good time.

          • bwaghorn 25.1.1.1.2

            Next stop the Chathams

  26. SPC 27

    The Chiefs, unable to buy a card last week, get three this week.

    A lesson to the AB's as they prepare for the World Cup about the importance of discipline and fortune with officiating.

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    ...
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  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
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  • District Court judges appointed
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  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
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  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
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  • Taking action to reduce road cones
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  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
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  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
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  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
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  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
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  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
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  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
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    5 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
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  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
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    5 days ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • Consultation begins on new cancer medicines
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  • Upgrading system resulting in faster passport processing
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    1 week ago
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  • Dr Shane Reti's speech to Iwi-Maori Partnership Boards, Rotorua
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    1 week ago
  • Expert panel appointed to review Public Works Act
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    1 week ago
  • Resources Minister heads to Australia with message – ‘NZ is open for business’
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s scholarships awarded
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    1 week ago
  • Next steps for Northwest Rapid Transit underway
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  • Targets will drive improvement in mental health
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