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Open mike 24/07/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 24th, 2021 - 102 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

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Step up to the mike …

102 comments on “Open mike 24/07/2021 ”

  1. Anne 1

    The little fellow didn't make it:

  2. Ad 2

    Apparently Australia's Great Barrier Reef is no longer endangered, and will no longer be listed as such, because Australia's Environment Minister Sussan Leys has done a standup job convincing UNESCO that there are alternative facts:


    They'll look at it again next year.

    It is the second time the Great Barrier Reef has been spared inclusion on the "in danger" list.

    In 2015, lobbying by then-environment minister Greg Hunt escaped a push to have the reef added to the list.

    After that, the reef was hit with an unprecedented three mass bleaching events in five years, driven by climate change and water quality targets that were not met.

    Hey but let's hear it for Queensland tourism.

    • greywarshark 2.1

      Make it endangered and everyone will rush to see it before it vanishes – very good for tourism, and then they can break off bits of bleached coral for souveniers. (Santa I would like spellcheck and pop-up correction like I get on google email)!

      I know C and V – I’ve got that on my tech CV!

  3. bwaghorn 3

    Cant copy and paste!

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    John Michael Greer challenges the technophiles!

    "One of the things I find fascinating about the deepening twilight of industrial society is how rigid our modern notions of technology have become. Most people these days, asked to imagine a society with technology about as advanced as ours, present something all but identical to what we’ve got now; asked to imagine a society with less advanced technology, they spring to a distorted pop-culture version of early medieval Europe if they don’t leap straight to even more distorted pop-culture notions about the Stone Age; asked to imagine a society with technology more advanced than ours, you can bet dollars for dilithium crystals that they’ll rehash the same tired imagery from early twentieth century sci-fi that has been stuck sideways in our collective imagination for decades now."


    • pat 4.2

      I recall from my schools days projects on 'the Dark Age' a term now apparently avoided that described the roughly thousand year period after the collapse of the (western ) Roman Empire and the subsequent loss of knowledge and practices…..rinse and repeat?

      • greywarshark 4.2.1

        I remember reading that certain tribes? in Britain asked if the Romans would come back, their organisation was good, and their infrastructure and they largely left the people to live within their own culture. But the Romans had trouble at home.

        • pat

          'Bloody Romans…what have they ever done for us ' springs to mind.

          • Sabine

            https://www.britannica.com/event/Dark-Ages – refers to the invasion of Europe by various other people.

            but also this



            the times were not quite that dark.

            • pat

              Yes there were undoubtably areas of 'light' if you like but fragmentation , disorganisation and I suspect a loss of common thought/education didnt make for an easy time….and importantly much that had been before was lost, good and bad.

              The point I think Greer makes is that progress dosnt cease, it changes….and we need to remember we dont know what we dont know….even events a few centuries ago are largely a mystery to us …hell, even events a few decades ago are in constant dispute.

              • Sabine

                I don't have a lot of 'technology' in my house or life. I have a computer, a landline, and that is pretty much it. We have actually not invented anything much, we are upgrading 'systems' but that is about it. And i guess this is where the difference between the medieval times and our times are. The best we can do atm is change the look of a gadget or the system. Heck even the
                Ev are not new technology considering that the 1920 had them already.


                • pat

                  Its not just technology that is impacted in a collapse….knowledge in general, systems, welfare even beliefs.

                  Greer's writing on catabolic collapse is very interesting…. and it is without the mystical.


                  • Sabine

                    but with that lack of technology also come skills.

                    If you only cook ready made meals can you cook from scratch? if you only use your microwave can you cook on a coal range or a sun oven? if all your clothes come from a shop can you still sew and fix a garment?

                    these are all skills, same as with wood work, building, fishing, hunting, planting etc. How many of us still have these skills?

                    So yes, we now have a world were many have lots of gadgets but can't boil water without burning down the house. (my sister 🙂 )

                    • pat

                      Dont disagree with that…though would note some skills easier to learn than others AND many time constrained…..its best not to have to learn how to grow food say when the supermarkets are empty and theres a drought.

                    • Sabine

                      @ Pat,

                      well i guess when the supermarkets run out of food cause the planet is done with us, its soylent green 🙂

              • McFlock

                "Dark" describes the lack of sources, not the society.

                • pat

                  Thats the first time Ive heard that

                  • McFlock

                    I linked to a blog about it below.

                    • pat

                      Interesting….dont think there was much lack of writing through that period though it may be fair to observe that much of what survived was curated by the Church which would sit with Petrarch who appeared to bemoaning the quality rather than the quantity of writings.

                      If we we drop the contested term 'Dark Ages' what do we know of the period following the collapse of the Western Roman Empiore?

                      [Content deleted because it contained too many links that triggered Auto-Moderation]


                • populuxe1

                  That's a bit of a retcon of what Petrarch actually said when he coined the expression: "Amidst the errors there shone forth men of genius; no less keen were their eyes, although they were surrounded by darkness and dense gloom"

                  • pat

                    Yes my take too…he could well have been taking aim at the Church

                  • McFlock

                    Petrarch said "darkness". But Baronius actually coined the term:

                    ] The Annales covered the first twelve centuries of Christianity to 1198, and was published in twelve volumes between 1588 and 1607. It was in Volume X that Baronius coined the term "dark age" for the period between the end of the Carolingian Empire in 888[24] and the first stirrings of Gregorian Reform under Pope Clement II in 1046:

                    "The new age (saeculum) that was beginning, for its harshness and barrenness of good could well be called iron, for its baseness and abounding evil leaden, and moreover for its lack of writers (inopia scriptorum) dark (obscurum)".[26]

            • joe90

              the times were not quite that dark.

              Lots to suggest times were literally dark.

              LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Dec. 17, 2000 — The beginning of the Dark Ages may have been literal, as well as figurative, as the result of a massive volcanic eruption in the 6th century, according to a volcanologist at the Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory.


              The ices of Greenland and Antarctica bear the fingerprints of a monster: a gigantic volcanic eruption in 539 or 540 A.D. that killed tens of thousands and helped trigger one of the worst periods of global cooling in the last 2,000 years. Now, after years of searching, a team of scientists has finally tracked down the source of the eruption.

              https://archive.li/hU69K (NatGeo)

              • Sabine

                yes, but this 'does not refer to the 'dark' ages.

                It should actually, as the times themselves were actually quite sophisticated and if you like the term, fashion forward. But generally the terms

                'dark ages' is applied to infer a time where people regressed rather then progressed.

                But you could also call this the small ice age, as some do indeed call it.

                • joe90

                  The suggestion is that a consequence of the lower levels of sunlight was cultural, social and economic regression.

        • mac1

          Collaborators? Sycophants? One percenters? Rome lovers? Dionysians? Aristocrats? Tourism operators? Celtic artifact salesmen? Chariot exporters?

          • pat

            Lol…all of the above and no doubt more.

            The more things change the more they stay the same.

            • mac1

              Exactly, pat. So, who for example is advocating 'bringing back the Brits"?

              They are the ones who would prefer benevolent despotism aka royalty, the ones who despise indigenous culture and language, who want tourism at the risk of our health, who want trade at the risk of covid deaths, who want their overseas trips and so flaunt their wealth at the risk of their community.

              For they are the one percenters, and their sycophants, the untitled aristocracy, the ICE car importers, the exporters of swamp kauri, the manufacturers of coal-dried milk powder, the tainters of water, sellers of our land to foreigners, enablers of overseas bolt holers.

              The Romans had them. The Britons had them.

              We've got them.

              • pat

                I dont know of a society of any size without hierarchy….do you?

                Perhaps scale is the problem?

                • Incognito

                  Perhaps scale is the problem?

                  Scale is just one factor.

                  It is our thinking and how we think about and set up these hierarchical structures and institutions, held together by the ‘laws of the land’ as well as moral ‘laws’. In other words, it is a human construct.

                  • pat

                    How these institutions are set up are a function of scale I'd suggest….that which can work perfectly adequately locally may not at say a national level.

                    It is easier to consider impacts and needs when dealing with small groups and where the benefit has accrued is far more easily recognised…it is then also far easier to use democratic pressure to correct.

                    Nowhere to hide

                • mac1

                  Observe and modify the excesses, minimise the discrepancies, allow justice for all, defend the weak. Societies tolerate a modicum of hierarchy and income/asset inequality.

                  • pat

                    Modicum being the operative word…..the problem appears to be the measure of 'modicum'

                • Stuart Munro

                  In many cases scales are the problem – signature trait of reptilian consciousness.

              • Sabine

                Is that why we now have 20.000 kiwis stuck in OZ? cause their englishnessness caused them to want unsustainable tourism?

                • mac1

                  Actually, Sabine, I think it's something to do with the Australians?

                  • Sabine

                    ah, so tourists coming to NZ is unsustainable, but Kiwis being tourists in OZ is sustainable, and that has something to do with englishnessness? And 20.000 kiwis stuck in OZ has something to do with OZ, but not with Kiwis 'being tourists' during the years of the plague? 🙂

                    • mac1

                      First sentence I don't think I argued for at all. Second sentence is right on both counts. Kiwi went touring into a 'bubble' risking it in a pandemic, Australians burst the bubble.

                  • greywarshark

                    mac1 Your comments are very interesting. Thinking about Romans I found in a book I have about Caesar, a quote from Caradoc the son of leader Cunobel, when betrayed by the northern Brigantes and taken in chains to Rome.

                    'It is reported that when…he looked with wonder upon the great buildings of the city, he turned ironically to his captors and said: "It is strange, indeed, that a people who have so many and such rich possessions of their own should envy me and mine. It is strange that the owners of these palaces should desire to drive us from our poor hovels."'

                    Maori might, did? say the same to the colonials. We in turn say the same to the incoming phalanx of wealthy.

                    And to illustrate yours at 1.49 a brilliant little song from the past.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 4.3

      The "deepening twilight of industrial society" imagery resonates; fun ‘whispers‘ less so.

      • pat 4.3.1


        " If the occult teachings I learned are correct, this isn’t the end of the present cycle of civilizations—there are supposed to be several more great civilizations before the current cycle comes to an end—but we’re past the peak, and what remains of our civilization and the two to come will go through their own shorter cycles in the course of a greater decline. After that? There are supposed to be two more cycles of civilization, separated from ours and each other by long intervals of tribal existence, before humanity finishes its time on this planet."


        If so then yes, tend to agree…..but then he is a Druid.

    • Andre 4.4

      Reading that took me back to my days as a credulous 11 year old that came across some of von Daniken's books.

  5. SPC 5

    It seems the effectiveness of the double dose Pfizer vaccine (Israeli evidence) in preventing infection diminishes by 6 months – the better news is that despite that hospitalisations in Israel are still down (despite the fact older people were vaccinated early).

    We may have to look at giving the border staff, front-line workers and health workers an Astra Zeneca dose at 6 months or so.

    This article looks at the mix and matching options and problems with using either vaccine for more than two doses.


    • Jenny how to get there 5.1

      Israel has an vaccination rate of 80%

      New Zealand's target is 70% which has been described by health experts as a "low bar".

      The fight against covid-19 has always been a political struggle as well as a medical one.

      The ball is now firmly in the political court, for our leaders to be more ambitous, to inspire and lead us to lift this target.

      In the past New Zealand was able to achieve vaccination rates of 80 and even 90%

      "Let's Do This"

      If we are really set on 'elimination' as our goal rather than 'suppression' we need to do this again.

      [Here we go again:

      New Zealand’s target is 70% which has been described by health experts as a “low bar”.

      You continue to make the same assertion about the alleged target of 70% of the NZ population vaccinated to suit your endless and tedious narrative that this is too low, et cetera. Please provide evidence to back this up.

      It is possible that I’ve missed a recent update on this and that Government has now set an official target, but this seems unlikely given the following:

      * There is no set target for Covid-19 vaccination, but Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield hopes to see 90 per cent coverage by the end of 2021


      You’re now in Pre-Moderation, also because there’s a raft of other unsubstantiated assertions that you keep peddling here, until you back up your above assertion in a satisfactory way – Incognito]

      • bwaghorn 5.1.1

        About 30% of people vote act, national and other minority parties so it's to be expected that about that number would be vaccine shy.

        • Sabine

          Do you really believe that the only ones that are vaccineshy are national/act voters or other minorities;? I am asking, because i have met vaccine shy – militant anti vaccers and they are on the left very left spectrum, or down right ;Anti Government’, sovereign citizens, earthlings etc.

          • bwaghorn

            Na just having a little fun on a bored Saturday

            • Incognito

              Please be careful with having fun and making assertions that you cannot back up. Sabine was excellent in calling you out on this, which may have saved you from being moderated, as I’ve had enough of people peddling misinformation here.

        • Jenny How to get there

          “About 30% of people vote act, national and other minority parties so it’s to be expected that about that number would be vaccine shy.”


          Jenny how to get there

          20 July 2021 at 4:53 am

          Overseas the Right, especially the Far Right have politicised the vaccine just as they politicised mask wearing and lockdown strategies.

          The key to reaching herd immunity is leadership.

          To beat the virus all those in leadership positions must be on board.

          All those in positions of leadership Left Right and Centre, every single MP in our parliament, need to declare their support for full immunistion, but not just in words but in actions.

          How can they do this?

          By getting vaccinated themselves.

          If every single MP in our parliament agrees to get vaccinated the Prime Minister can announce this fact to the country and the world…..

          Freedom day « The Standard

        • Bearded Git

          I just saw on the ABC News TV channel in Oz that 69 per cent of Republicans say they will get vaccinated.

      • Incognito 5.1.2

        See my Moderation note @ 10:51 am.

      • Jenny how to get there 5.1.3

        New Zealand’s target is 70% which has been described by health experts as a “low bar”.

        You continue to make the same assertion about the alleged target of 70% of the NZ population vaccinated to suit your endless and tedious narrative that this is too low, et cetera. Please provide evidence to back this up.

        No probs.

        Covid-19: Govt wants to vaccinate 70 per cent of NZ, but questions remain

        Hannah Martin 07:27, Jan 29 2021

        Health authorities are aiming for 70 per cent of the population to be vaccinated against Covid-19, but it is unclear over what time period this will occur.

        Earlier this week, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said he hoped at least 70 per cent of New Zealand’s population would be vaccinated against the virus: “Obviously, the higher the better”.

        But the Ministry of Health does not yet have a vaccination target for border, MIQ and health workers, or a time frame in which it will aim to vaccinate 70 per cent of the population, a spokesperson told Stuff.

        Vaccinologist Associate Professor Dr Helen Petousis-Harris​ said she thought 70 per cent was a “low bar”.


        Did I say that the the target of 70% was "Too low"?

        I never said this.
        I defy you to point to anywhere, where I said this.

        I was quoting the word of Vaccinologist Associate Professor Dr Helen Petousis-Harris​ who said she thought 70 per cent was a “low bar”.

        Note here, that I put this assertion in question marks to show that I was quoting someone else.

        I am not quaified to say, whether 70% is too low or not. But I do know that the vaccination rate needs to be as high as we can possibly get it, that is, if we want to achieve Herd immunity.

        Stuff Journalist Hannah Martin in her report dated, Jan 29 2021, said "Govt wants to vaccinate 70 per cent of NZ"

        "Covid-19: Govt wants to vaccinate 70 per cent of NZ, but questions remain"

        I said, "New Zealand’s target is 70%".. A much less pointed statement than Hanna Martin's claim that "the government" wants to vaccinate 70%.

        I did not lay this claim on the government as Martin did, because just as you point out, no official government target has been stated or "set" Nor should there be. It just needs to be as high as we can possibly get it. To achieve this end, I have suggested that the government needs to give a lead. If possible, or as near as possible, to be able to give the best possible lead to our country, parliament needs to present a united front, a grand coalition if you will, against a common enemy, and not just in words but in deeds.

        Now that we have the vaccine, to continue with our country's strategy of elimination, herd immunity must be the new goal.

        The enemy to achieving herd immunity is vaccine hesitancy.

        From the beginning the fight against the pandemic has been a political as well as a medical struggle. Conservatives (Winston Peters for one instance), have tended to favour putting the welfare of the economy first, demanding the opening up of the economy and easing border restrictions even at the height of pandemic. ("yesteday" as Peters infamously demanded)

        The government's bold and world beating strategy of 'elimination' has paid off. IMHO It is now well past time that the rest of parliament got in behind the government.

        The race is on.

        Ashley Blomfield "hopes" for 90% vaccine coverage by the end of the year, that is a very high bar indeed, which in my opinion, will need all our representative political parties on board to achieve.

        I think to call for a united parliamentary front against the virus, in both words and deeds, is a valid viewpoint to raise and share with others.

        I hope you can agree.

        [No, I’m afraid I cannot agree. Again, you waste an enormous amount of space here without giving a specific answer, i.e. you’re beating around the bush.

        In contrast to your 6 month-old link, I provided a recent link that states two different things: 1) there is no set target; 2) Ashley Bloomfield hopes for 90%.

        Instead of wasting more Moderator time and space, why don’t you get to the point in a succinct (!!) manner and provide a link, even a dated one will do, to a formal target set by Government. A hope is not a set target, no matter what the MSM headline says.

        If there’s no such thing as a formal set target, which I suspect is the case, then you should adjust your narrative accordingly because otherwise your comments are deliberately misleading and could be construed as you doing the dirty work for the opposition parties and other malcontents.


        I hope you understand what this moderation is about. If not, let me know, and I’ll end the needless agony – Incognito]

        • Incognito

          See my Moderation note @ 7:28 pm.

        • Jenny how to get there

          …why don’t you get to the point in a succinct (!!) manner and provide a link, even a dated one will do, to a formal target set by Government.

          Hi Incognito,

          I can't provide a link to something that doesn't exist.

          Why would you ask me to, since I never claimed there was any formal target set by the government.

          I defy you to point out where I ever said such a thing.

          Yours J.

          [I’m not getting through to you and wasting my time.

          You made the assertion about the 70% target and you cannot back it up because it was BS.

          See the problem here? – Incognito]

          • Jenny how to get there

            You asked me to look for something that doesn't exist.

            And in return I asked you to look for somethng which doesn't exist.

            I'ts hilarious.

            [I asked you to back up your assertion or modify your language accordingly.

            Neither has happened.

            I don’t think this is funny and I’m not laughing.

            You have one more chance self-correct before you go in the Black list until further notice.

            This has wasted too much time already and is getting beyond the tedious – Incognito]

            • Incognito

              See my Moderation note @ 10:45 pm.

            • Jenny how to get there

              Hi incognito
              Good grief.
              Now you are shiftiing the goal posts, first you said and I quote. "…provide a link, even a dated one will do, to a formal target set by Government."

              Since I never made such a claim, and you know it, you now say. “You made the assertion about the 70% target and you cannot back it up because it was BS.”

              I never made that assertion, I was quoting others

              And I presume by “the assertion”, you mean when Vaccinologist Associate Professor Dr Helen Petousis-Harris​ said 70 per cent was a “low bar”.

              Dr Petousis-Harris was reacting to Stuff Journalist Hannah Martin, who made "the assertion" "- "Covid-19: Govt wants to vaccinate 70 per cent of NZ,…."

              Are you saying that I shouldn't quote from journalists and academic health proffessionals because you might disagree with their opinion, or think their opinion is BS?

              If you feel so strongly that what Martin wrote or what Professor Petousis-Harris said was BS, maybe you could take it up with them. Or better yet write a post on why they are wrong. (Or even why I was wrong to quote them).

              Let's be honest here for just a minute, eh Incognito; the disagreement between you and I, is one of differing political outlook. You have made it very clear over a number of issues that you fundamentally disagree with my Left of Centre political outlook. # Over bikes on buses, # over the obscenity of billionaires in space, # over suing climate polluters #over my view that a parliamentary united front would be a positive lead in combatting vaccine hesitancy.

              over my view that those on the Right (and especially those on the Far Right), of the political spectrum, are more likely to believe or at least don't oppose anti-vax conspiracy theory.

              It's alright to have differing views and I always like to hear yours. And I appreciated any time you have taken to explain your counter view.

              I have read the links you have put up to prove your view that vaccine hesitancy is not a Left Right issue.

              The first two of the three links you supplied, far from backing your claim, factually disproved your claim that vaccine hesitancy is not a Left Right issue. The third link you provided did not record political preferences of vaccine supporters or opponents. So proved nothing either way.

              The first link you supplied from the Washington Post was published more than 5 years ago. Their conclusion then, was that anti-vaccination views were held by the Right more than they were held by the Left by a very slight margin.

              The link you supplied to the Washington Post article which confirmed that the Right were slightlly more likely to be against vaccination, was more than two years before Trump took office, long before covid-19, long before lockdowns. All these thing worked to open this slight division into a yawning chasm.

              By Chris Mooney Washington Post
              January 26, 2015

              ……every time researchers examine the political outlooks of vaccine deniers through representative surveys, it seems that they fail to find a significant leftwing bent.

              …..having a free market ideology led in the opposite direction — towards having more vaccine skepticism.

              …..Yale’s Dan Kahan published results from a nationally representative survey which led him to conclude that the idea of vaccine fears being driven by leftwing ideology “lacks any factual basis.” In fact, Kahan found, “respondents formed more negative assessments of the risk and benefits of childhood vaccines as they became more conservative and identified more strongly with the Republican Party.” However, as in the prior study, this was a very slight effect.


              The second link you supplied to back up your argument that there is no Left Right divide over vaccination, listed those groups with high support for getting the covid vaccine. Labour Party members made the list with 80% support, the link did not list the level of support for getting the covid vaccine by National Party members. So we don't know what National Party members support is for getting the vaccine. But we do know that it was too low to be on the list.

              Colmar Brunton

              The groups of voters who are more likely than average (76%) to say they would definitely or probably get
              vaccinated include:
              ▪ Those aged 70+ (90%)
              ▪ Males aged 55+ (88%)
              ▪ Those with an annual household income of between $100,001 and $150,000 (83%)
              ▪ New Zealand Europeans (80%)
              ▪ Labour party supporters (80%).
              Those groups of voters who are more likely than average (17%) to say they would definitely not or probably
              not get vaccinated include:
              ▪ Those living in Gisborne or the Hawke’s Bay (30%)
              ▪ Māori (26%)

              While a large percentage of those who were against getting the vaccine were worried about side effecfs more were against getting the vaccine because they didn't think it was necessary 55%


              The third link you supplied to a Horizon poll did not record people's political position relating to vaccine hesitancy.


              There is strong evidence of a Left Right divide over vaccinations, there shouldn't be but there is.

              Denying it won't make it go away. Which is sad if maybe there is something we could do to heal this rift in the body politic over vaccines and depoliticise it.

              It is my opinion that there is a bleeding edge between the Far Right the Right. To staunch the cross flow of vaccine conspiracy views, across this bleeding edge, and politically isolate the covid and vaccine deniers, it would be good if the opposition parties came together around the government's call for everyone elgible to get vaccinated.

              Personally Incognito I don't think our differences over whether parliament needs to respond to the issue of vaccine hesitancy by presenting a united front is such a bid deal. But you have decided to make into a huge do or die issue. Something you have been working up to for a long time.

              You have been saying for a while now, (despite me not having broken any of the site rules on debate and commenting), that you don't like my "vibe" that my views make you "feel ill" or even, my comments make you want to "throw up". I have already said I am sorry that expressing my political views here makes you feel ill. But I am afraid that I can't be responsible for your extreme reaction to my views. How you react to my political viewpoint says more about you than me.

              You have accused me of "bordering on fascist" of being a "cult leader", but your most common epithet is that I am "ignorant' I disagree. But that doesn't make you wrong. Even if I am ignorant, ignorance is not a crime. I am always willing to learn. I have asked you to educate me or point out where I am wrong, but you haven't. instead you choose to deliver insults and a personal attacks, that I should go and study crystals or astrology, which you have tried to falsely liken my political views to.

              Now you are getting more explicit in your disaproval of my views asking me to self censor or be banned.

              "I asked you to back up your assertion or modify your language accordingly"

              I have more than backed up my assertions, but that is not enough is it? You want me to modify my language. Since I don't swear or indulge in personal insults or break any of the rules of debate on this site. What else can you mean, other than self censor my political views to those more acceptable to you.


              It is my view that there is a bleeding edge between the Far Right and the Right. To staunch this cross flow of vaccine conspiracy views, it would be good if the opposition parties came behind the government.

              You disagree and have chosen to blow this disagreement into a giant issue so you can ban me.

              Voltaire was reputed to have said, “‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,"

              He actually never said that. it was his biographer Evelyn Hall

              According to Wikipedia

              On the news that the government had condemned and burned fellow French philosopher Claude-Adrien Helvétius’ book. According to Votaire's biographer Evelyn Hall (Voltaire did not find the substance of Helvétius’ work particularly impressive) but was still dismayed by French Parliament’s actions.

              “‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,’ was his attitude now," wrote Hall.

              The key word is "now" which hints that Voltaire's veiws on free speech were much more fluid. According to circumstance and time and place.

              Hall's words were not Voltaire's, it is possible that though Voltaire was appalled at the censorship of another philospher's work, he may have at other times opposed the promulgation of extreme or violent and biggoted views. A view I would share. A view I also share with the government. I fully support the government over the hate speech laws. Right wing conservative views are espoused everywhere it is Left Wing views that struggle for a hearing. It is great that the Right are getting some of their own medicine back. It's about time.

              The right to air you views is not an absolute right. And of course never more so than here, I have absolutely no right to air my views here, and you have every right to censor them, because you don't like their "vibe" or for any other reason, or none at all.
              If you want to turn this website into an echo chamber only for views acceptable to you, that is your right.

              You won't hear me complain. Enjoy your echo chamber.

              • Incognito

                Hi Jenny,

                Thank you for your 1,625 word-response; succinct has never been your strong point and needless repetition is not the mother of all learning. Now it is my turn, my final one.

                You stated the following without quotation marks and reference (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-24-07-2021/#comment-1804909):

                New Zealand's target is 70% which has been described by health experts as a "low bar".

                The fight against covid-19 has always been a political struggle as well as a medical one.

                The ball is now firmly in the political court, for our leaders to be more ambitious [sic], to inspire and lead us to lift this target.

                That was BS because NZ has never had and still does not have a set target regardless of what various people, including experts and Bloomfield, for example, have expressed as hope (and always hoping for more!). Hope is not a or the “target” of New Zealand.

                In any case, the infamous article you always return to was from January 2021 when the Delta variant was hardly on the scene. Things have changed since and NZ modelling has shown that herd immunity might be near impossible by vaccination alone. I linked to the modelling because you were unaware of it and asked me to back it up with a link: “[c]ome on, help me out here. I am trying to understand where you are coming from.?”. Remember that?

                Of course, you and I disagree on many points and issues. My main frustration with your comments is your many (but not all) wrong premises and many (but not all) weak arguments. Indeed, they are your opinions, not facts, yet you present them as absolutisms with an overzealous confidence and unwavering narrative of a dogmatic believer. As such, genuine debate with you is literally impossible. So, no, I utterly reject your notion that I “fundamentally disagree with [your] Left of Centre political outlook” [my italics]; I reject your piss-poor arguing.

                You have never stated as such “that those on the Right (and especially those on the Far Right), of the political spectrum, are more likely to believe or at least don't oppose anti-vax conspiracy theory”. You declared them “the enemy, and they are winning”.

                So, now you seem to be saying that they might not be the only enemy, which was exactly my point. I asked you where the “vivid antivaxxers before Covid” had gone. Your reply was an article arguing that “Nazi Hippies” and “Far Right Overlap”. What a load of codswallop! Your hypothesis seems to be that all Lefty antivaxxers have either died from preventable diseases because they refused to be vaccinated or moved across to the Dark Side to become Far Right, is that correct? In New Zealand? Not a single Lefty antivaxxer left? So shocking it is unbelievable that anyone would believe such a thing. BTW, being vaccine hesitant and being an antivaxxer are not the same thing.

                The WP link was from before Covid-19; that was the whole point.

                The Horizon link showed that whoever they are, antivaxxers are not “winning”, at least not here in NZ. Whether the Far Right is winning in NZ is a different question, but latest political polls seem to suggest this may also not be the case. BTW, I don’t consider the National Party as Far Right, but maybe you confuse them with another National Party from a different era in a different country (hint: they also have MMP), yes?

                In short, your Far Right conspiracy theories are just that, especially in relation to Covid vaccination. Others see Reds under the bed or dancing Cossacks.

                You argue that a united Parliament would depoliticise the vaccination issue. I think it is the opposite, it would politicise it. I linked to a paper that argued that “[o]ne strategy for increasing vaccination willingness is to politicize the issue of vaccination itself”. How you would do this and whether this has the desired effect is hypothetical. I have an issue with applying so much (peer) pressure that it becomes enforced; we have seen plenty examples in history on how well that can work out, which gives reason to ponder and thread carefully and cautiously in matters such as these, in my humble opinion.

                I don’t have any right to ban you or censor you for your ill-considered views and I don’t want to. I can moderate you for unsubstantiated claims, but I’d rather not and prefer if you back them up, especially when asked. I cannot make you accept facts and information if you don’t want to, which clearly is the case with you, as you have demonstrated in your overly long epistle.

                I don’t want to turn this website into an echo chamber only for views acceptable to me. I don’t want to and have no right at all to do so; I’d be booted off this site before lunch time and rightly so. That said, I did trash the comment you posted after your Magnum Opus of 1,625 words that had the lyrics and YouTube clip of the song Ordinary World by Duran Duran. I could never stand them, and they were totally overrated. Such a shite song by such a shite band. But that’s entirely subjective and you were under Moderation, so I did.

                It is becoming clear that you won’t change your ways because you don’t think there’s anything wrong with them. So, what should I do? I’ll take you out of Pre-Moderation and will ask you to back up any unsubstantiated claims like other commenters and I do with any other commenter who does the same thing. If you or anybody else spread misinformation on an important topic you can expect to be pulled up on it by another commenter or by me. This is the way it works here and always has.

                We have come full circle and I’m going to turn over the page and I don’t want to (have to) waste one more single word on this!

                The choice is yours. [994 words, Jenny wins]

            • weka

              Jenny, you know how this goes. If you make moderators work too hard, they get fed up and ban people. Just acknowledge that you posted the 70% target but now know that it's not a formal target. Or, argue it out and get a ban. Personally, if I'd been moderating this I'd have given you a medium length ban a few days ago just to free up my time.

              First rule of mod club, is don't piss off the mods, especially around using up our time. To that end, if you want to write 1000+ word replies to a moderation and general issues with a particular mod (currently sitting in the filter), I'd suggest writing a post instead about one of the things you feel passionate about. Consider the value in that vs an inevitable ban.

          • Incognito

            See my Moderation note @ 10:29 pm.

    • Sabine 5.2


      Of the 8,787 people who have died in Texas due to COVID-19 since early February, at least 43 were fully vaccinated, the Texas Department of State Health Services said.

      That means 99.5% of people who died due to COVID-19 in Texas from Feb. 8 to July 14 were unvaccinated, while 0.5% were the result of "breakthrough infections," which DSHS defines as people who contracted the virus two weeks after being fully vaccinated.

      The agency said nearly 75% of the 43 vaccinated people who died were fighting a serious underlying condition, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer or chronic lung disease.

      Maybe we just start vaccinating those that have not gotten a jab at all first, and keep the borders closed to anyone but returning kiwis – who in some cases may have gotten vaccinations in the UK/US/Europe etc where they now currently live.

      Never mind though, lets hope that the 20.000 kiwis on holiday in OZ come back without the virus, and lets hope that those that miss out on flights to come back home will not get sick while stuck over there.

      • greywarshark 5.2.1

        Yes Sabine that 20,000 figure makes me shiver. We have done so well, and I fear are wallowing in self-gratification and enabling people who want to make a personal stand because they are too special to be attacked by a virus or a needle. I'm getting relaxed myself, though still use the hand wash where I go, but no-one else around me does. They view it as unnecessary and are relying on the government and Health Dept to do much.

        But notice how much they are spending on full page advertisements in the media, and who stops to read every word. This is the lazy way of neolib government. I noticed this happening when they were making an effort to change practices in child rearing, stop smacking, better health. Preach from the top, lots spent on talking and publishing, but not get amongst the peeps helping them to fix problems, giving both information and demonstration and help close at hand on demand when needed.

    • SPC 5.3

      The growing consensus that at least some Americans will need a booster is partly tied to research suggesting that Pfizer’s vaccine is less effective after about six months.

      The most recent figures from the Israeli Ministry of Health, released late this week, suggested that Pfizer’s vaccine was just 39 percent effective in preventing infection in that country in late June and early July, compared to 95 percent from January to April.

      The vaccine remained more than 90 percent effective in preventing severe disease, and nearly as effective in preventing hospitalization. Israel began offering a third Pfizer dose to citizens with severely weakened immune systems on July 12


  6. Jenny how to get there 6

    The anti-vax movement is killing people, and the right-wing media is egging it on

    Eoin Higgins

    Sun, July 18, 2021, 12:28 AM·6 min read

    Every person who died of COVID in Maryland this June was unvaccinated……

    Anti-mask and anti-lockdown protests have combined with the existing anti-vax movement over the past 15 months, creating a Frankenstein’s monster of well-intentioned skepticism of the pharmaceutical industry, various pseudo-sciences, and the far right…..


    If we are achieve levels of immunisation necessary to confer herd immunity to the general population, we will have to politically isolate our version of these right wing extremists. This will require a united front right across the mainstream political spectrum.

    • Treetop 6.1

      Taking personal responsibility is up to an individual when it comes to vaccination. Some people just do not give a hoot about anyone else's health and they do not value their own health.

  7. Muttonbird 7

    Here on a domestic level describes what is happening at international level.

    Coronavirus: NSW begs rest of Australia for COVID-19 vaccines

    Australia's largest state of New South Wales on Friday urged the federal government to divert vaccine doses to Sydney, the epicentre of a flaring COVID-19 outbreak, raising objections from other states desperate for protection from the virus.

    Now, NSW wants their own vaccination rollout to be sped up at the expenses of other safer states.

    No-one would begrudge them this because their need is now greater (even if through fault of their own).

    Now, will the unhinged RWNJs of New Zealand climb on board WA, NT Queensland, and Tasmania for their relatively poor vaccine rollout performance having given up stocks for those in greater need?


    • Sabine 7.1

      I always get a bit confused with the different states in OZ, but are the individual states responsible for their own vaccine purchases/ roll outs or is there an over arching government (for all of OZ) that handles that?

      Example, Germany is a 'federation of states' that individually have their own governments, but the German Government is the one to purchase the vaccines and then distribute it to the individual states, who then with the allocated vaccines run their own roll out?

      • Koff 7.1.1

        Oz sounds similar to Germany. Vaccine rollout is a federal (Coalition) responsibility, all other health decisions including Covid restrictions, lockdowns are state determined. Basically all states and territories, blue or red, have similar responses to Covid as NZ with the exception of NSW. The other key difference between Oz and NZ is that the federal government went with AstraZeneca, not Pfizer, as the main vaccine (AZ manufactured in Melbourne so a lot cheaper) and the hyped up scare stories about AZ side effects have meant a lot of vaccine hesitancy.

  8. greywarshark 8

    On Kim Hill this morning. About the debate for younger voting age 16 and up. Some points I noted – That voters choose from their beliefs and what will be best for them, countered by comment that isn't it supposed to be for what is best for the country.

    And the statement that young people are being taught civics at school, and are therefore well-informed to make decisions.

    And that schoolage is good for getting involved in voting and thinking about politics as the 18-24 age group get sidetracked into careers and places to live and starting out on life as young adults.


    What do they get taught at school about civics, and building communities and how a country is supposed to run? Do all students learn this, ie is it compulsory or left up to the local school boards ? Probably USA style as have been other educational 'innovations' (so great a model for us to follow /sarc).

    Perhaps we could invite someone with the knowledge and experience about civic education for school-age young adults, plus the ability to be objective, to write a guest post giving us the 'gen' on this?

    • Pete 8.1

      Why is what kids they learn about civics at school important? Or anything else for that matter.

      There are some who believe 5G towers disperse covid 19. There are some who believe the vaccine has microchips in it. There are some who believe the Coronavirus is a hoax. Some believe it's a big plot to take over the world.

      So what did those people learn at school? They get to vote. What makes them getting to vote more valid than an "ordinary" 15 year? Simple miles on the clock?

      • greywarshark 8.1.1

        What's that all about Pete. You are welcome to have a little rant about the topic. I still think that understanding the system that we live in, and the culture also, at school, will be beneficial for all. If parents don't know or ever talk about it, then the very basis of their adult lives may never be thought about, understood. Philosophies also should be discussed rather than setting the kids up for some religious stream which may not be one's preference, and be opposite to what a parent would say but often doesn't get round to it.

  9. Stephen D 9

    Is Simeon Brown being set up by his own team,

    Over the years National policy towards law and order has proven to be a failure. Yet they still persist. At some point some journalists with clue in, and poor old Simeon is lost.

    Is Judith playing the internal dirty politics long game, or am I just fantasising?

  10. AB 10

    Nice piece from Aaron Bastani on how housing security transformed my mental health. In all the recent local discussions on mental health, so much of it has been about the nature and funding of mental health services. Virtually nothing has been about protecting mental health and preventing mental health crises through financial and housing security for everyone. Instead we argue about the disposition of ambulances at the bottom of the cliff; whether there are enough ambulances, who funded the most ambulances, and whether the ambulances are sufficiently tuned to the needs of Maori, etc.

    It seems possible that by fixing the material and financial conditions of everday life, we will give mental health professionals the time and space to work with people whose mental health issues are truly endogenous/organic in origin – rather than triggered by an unlivable economic environment.

  11. greywarshark 11

    With news media enforcing payment or using of cookies maybe new ones that are easier to access are starting. I haven't found out much about News Logics. This is their About:

    About us – Welcome to News Logics, We’re dedicated to giving you the news. Founded in 2017 by Frances Moody, News Logics has come a long way from its beginnings in the united state. When Frances Moody first started out, her passion for providing gripping content in the world of up to date, drove them to do tons of research so that News Logics can offer you the latest information, and small to big news We now serve reader all over the world and are thrilled that we’re able to turn our passion into our own website.

    It refers to the united state – an oxymoron? Sounds as if it is run by a bot.

  12. Sabine 12

    affordable houses

    I have watched four 'dwellings' go up on a tiny section next – like right next to State Highway 5 in Rotorua go up. Curiosity killed to cat and today i went there and stopped for a look. Now they are small, ackward and if you look around you can see some nice and shoddy craftsmanship – but never mind, i thought, surely these are affordable? Right? Like big enough for a small family, or a couple. Yeah, nah nah,

    they are 619.000 each. No extra charge for the noise pollution and traffic pollution, that is included in teh price, cause generous.


  13. KSaysHi 13


    About 3000 requests for emergency housing were rejected by the Government last year, nearly triple the number the year before.

    I no longer believe the minister's response, does the minister?

    “The number of declines does not necessarily mean the client is left unsupported in their housing need as their accommodation need may have been met in discussion with their case manager through other support,” Sepuloni said.

    “For example, when a person approaches the Ministry of Social Development for assistance, there is a range of assistance available, which may have resulted in other support or referrals being provided.”

    So…is she claiming supports have tripled in the last year. Yeah, right.

    The alternative take on this is that emergency housing has a big neon "no vacancy" sign over it. There is not enough room so people are being turned away to presumably live on the street, if they are lucky in the shelter of a vehicle.

    • Incognito 13.1

      You’re free what and whom to believe. However, for the sake of balanced opinion, you might want to ask yourself what else has changed between 2019 and 2020. For example, how many more requests had been received. Of course, a one-sided view leads to one-sided thinking.

      From your link:

      They show 2997 applications were turned down in 2020, compared to 1032 in 2019.


      Roughly 155,000 grants were approved in 2020 at a cost to taxpayers of nearly $300 million. About 101,000 were approved in 2019, totalling $150m.

      Is your glass half-full or half-empty?

      • Sabine 13.1.1

        Sorry Incognito, the glasses are all empty.

        Did you see my post? did you click on the link? Do you realise that this is a new build, 4 on a tiny section with two houses literally the width of a walkway from a motorway? did you see the cost? 619.000 per 'unit'. Rentable 'value' of 540 – 550 a week? The collective greed of this country and the collective failure of various governments to manage housing as a social good will come to bite us in our collective behinds sooner or later.

        As for Mrs. Sepuloni, she is the Paula Benefit of the Labour Party. There is no real difference between the two.

        And frankly, many many are getting really tired of these games of 'may have or may have not'. Because too many don't have anything at all.

        So yeah, i pity anyone who believes a word coming from this women. She does as she is told to do.

        • Incognito

          As for Mrs. Sepuloni, she is the Paula Benefit of the Labour Party. There is no real difference between the two.

          I’m sorry, but I find this nonsense unpalatable. In essence, you do the same thing as always, which is shooting the messenger and your pet hates AKA targets, no matter what or when. Debating with people like you, with a closet mind, is therefore an exercise in futility and thus a waste of time.

          I’m really not in the mood for your ignorant babble.


          • Sabine

            You are a fierce defender of the Labour Party, Incognito, i give you this. 🙂

            And i guess i am a ' virtue signaler' as you so politely called me some time ago, and i am very very happy about this compliment. I should thank you for it, cause I would find it worse to see what is going on in the country and never say anything and just pretend it does not exist in order to not ruffle a few feathers or for fear of rocking some boats.

            As for my comments, i always try to be at the very least respectful enough to provide a link to support my thoughts. And if you had a look at the link above you know that this can't go on like this for much longer, because at some stage we just have to many people who are unhoused or despite working and a 20 NZD min wage can't afford to spend 540 – 550 for a 'dwelling'. And that is not good for anyone. Not you, not me, and not our communities.

            [I don’t know why you decided to misrepresent me and/or ascribe an obviously incorrect motivation to me.

            You are a fierce defender of the Labour Party, Incognito, i give you this. 🙂

            The rest of your comment was irrelevant and merely another opportunity for your virtue-signalling. I don’t do medals or damehoods, sorry.

            I’m allergic to commenters misrepresenting other commenters here, to commenters spreading misinformation, to commenters shooting the messenger especially when it is another commenter, to commenters who divert and derail threads, to commenters who only want to push their own wheelbarrow and don’t want to listen to others, to commenters who twist things to suit their narrow narrative and to confirm their own bias, et cetera. You see that nothing in this list has anything to do with attacking one political party or defending another per se. It is nothing personal either, before to jump to that silly conclusion.

            I’m especially sensitive to commenters who accuse Authors, Moderators, and/or this site of being a (paid) tool and/or ascribe ulterior motives. This is specifically mentioned in the site’s Policy in the list of self-martyrdom offenses. It is usually used to ‘justify’ and goes hand-in-hand with shooting the messenger, be it the Author, Moderator, and/or the site.

            If you don’t like what you read here, provide a robust argument that addresses content, leave and go somewhere else, and/or start your own blog. In other words, you don’t have to put up with our shit and we don’t have to put with your shit, if we cannot agree to disagree.

            When I get an allergic reaction I take appropriate medication. When I go into anaphylactic shock I have to take drastic action. Your comment is causing quite a severe reaction and I might have to go for the more heavy-duty treatment option. I already told you that I wasn’t in the mood but you’re not a very good listener or simply chose to ignore it. Please don’t make things worse, thanks – Incognito]

            • Grafton Gully

              While dwellings have prestige and speculative value they will be unavailable to those for whom prestige and value lie elsewhere and who live shorter lives, suffer material hardship and do not vote.

            • Incognito

              See my Moderation note @ 7:19 pm.

    • Gabby 13.2

      3000 out of…?

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