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Open mike 25/04/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 25th, 2020 - 134 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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 …

134 comments on “Open mike 25/04/2020”

  1. Ad 1

    Nice ANZAC moment with the neighbours: we had lit candles and put them on our letterboxes, put a radio out there and we listened to the whole thing – together alone. 

    • Cinny 1.1

      Was beautiful here too,we heard a bugler, a moment of silence, then someone fired measured shots on a gun and the sky turned crimson.

      A respectful silence in the crisp morning air, even the animals kept the noise down, a vibrant sunrise reflected in the ocean enhanced by a sprinkling of mist levitating over the paddock.  It was pretty special TBH.

      Least we forget heart

    • Sacha 1.2

      A different commemoration

    • Janet 1.3

      Lucky you, our neighbour destroyed the peace very early by jumping on his tractor and mulching up his pruned off avocado branches  in his avocado orchard. You really can,t  get a noise more loud and horrible than that. I was so angry I texted the family that it was ANZAC day and educated them on what that means  and what we expect in NZ on ANZAC day. They are immigrants who have been here long enough to know better but…..

  2. Ad 2

    For Australia-watchers out t here, this pithy little set from the  Lowy Institute is worth a read. It covers forecasts on the world after Covid-19's effects for: 

    – The United States

    – China

    – South-East Asia

    – The Pacific

    – Developing Nations

    – Globalisation, 

    and some more. Just a few hundred words each, nice and concise.



  3. Graeme 3

    Simon, or Simon's friends are getting a bit thin skinned, a second arrest for making threats to the leader of the opposition in a couple of days.



    I don't condone threats or bullying in any form from anyone, but the second one looks more like a commentary on Simon's propensity to make a dick of himself, than a threat to his life.  

    • greywarshark 3.1

      Truth and realisation, is a threat to the National Party built on subterfuge, camouflage and bombast – and all those words sounding war-related!

  4. Ad 4

    Now, I'm not crying “Battleship Potempkin” here, but if the US Defence Secretary really does reinstate Captain Brett Crozier to re-command the USS Theodore Roosevelt, President Trump is going to have a PR nightmare on his hands throughout the entire military. 


    This is the Captain who specifically asked for help for his sailors, went public with it (perhaps too public), and was summarily dismissed.

    Trump as Commander in Chief has overruled specific military disciplinary actions before, but not one associated with Covid-19.

    Trump can either agree with the recommendation – in which case his armed forces can see that his chain of command failed to act on Covid-19 and endangered many military lives. 

    Or Trump can over-rule the recommendation – and ensure that at least the crew of that ship burn with hatred against him. 

    Neither will be good for President Trump's support within the military.

    • Gabby 4.1

      Surely the navy have long been aware that the top brass are fuckwits.

    • KJT 4.2

      He did what you would expect, contacted his superiors and also informed some fellow Captains, asking for their advice..

      Pretty much what you would expect.

  5. Mpk 5

    Having successfully silenced Julian Assange, the UK government is now trying to do the same to Craig Murray. If you feel strongly about supporting his voice then click this link.


    • Morrissey 5.1

      The Clinton rump is also trying to silence critics in the U.S…..

      Krystal Ball: The woke Left tried to cancel me, that's why they keep losing


    • The Al1en 5.2

      Yeah, because someone who publishes the names of rape and sexual assault accusers, against a court order, deserves our support as an outstanding, upright citizen.


      • Morrissey 5.2.1

        False accusers. It was a political smear campaign, of the sort you have, notoriously, endorsed in the recent past.

        • The Al1en

          Court ordered name suppression for sexual assault and rape accusers. If you think breaching those orders is okay, based on your political opinion, put your wank ideology on the line and name the killer of grace Millane on your blog or tweet it,

          [Don’t even go there, thanks – Incognito]

          • Incognito

            See my Moderation note @ 8:38 PM.

            • The Al1en

              The point is obviously how some people can ride roughshod over court ordered name suppression, especially those concerning rape and sexual assault accusers, but not having the conviction to do it themselves. The example I gave, which in hindsight was ill advised and one you should probably delete on my behalf, was the only one I could think of before I watched Bill Maher. 

              Interesting, and very ironic, is how Morrisey, through his support of Murray's actions, is posting in solidarity with the likes of Cameron Slater, who also breached orders for political purposes.

              • Incognito

                Indeed, it wasn’t smart to make that suggestion; another Moderator might have given you a (short?) ban for that. You received just a warning.

                Court orders are there for a reason and anybody who breaches them here is out, for life.

                As far as I’m concerned, Morrissey is in a world of his own. Maybe you guys could make it less personal, yes?

                • The Al1en

                  Fortunately for me, then, I wouldn't be so stupid to suggest Morrisey put his money where his mouth is and post against an illegal suppression order on this site, just as I'm sure he hasn't the cajones to back up his slanted rhetoric from here and do it on his own site either. 

  6. ianmac 6

    A short letter to the editor:

    There is no bigger a socialist as a capitalist in financial distress. Geoff Nieuwelaar, Whangarei.

    • Incognito 6.1

      Fair-weather capitalists who privatise profits and socialise losses. They hold up their hand for government assistance and call for bailout. In fact, they demand it because they need the assistance to save jobs, not for personal gain or preservation.

      • KJT 6.1.1

        The same people who, in many cases, didn't give a shit about the people losing jobs, in the 80's and 90's coup.

        Or in the GFC.

      • Craig H 6.1.2

        Indeed. I don't mind having a social contract which includes the government as social insurer, but if that's the new normal, I expect better terms for the workers in this contract.

  7. joe90 7

  8. Adrian 8

    Here's a thought, let's bring back MAGA mass rallies again.

    • Wayne 9.1

      I am pretty sure the pictures are from a holiday from 2 or so years ago. Yes, Barack Obama did go on holiday on the island. As a former president he is going to be invited to places that you and I can only imagine.

      He could have done the same thing on his holidays in Hawaii, and probably does. You could also criticise him for playing golf at Kauri Cliffs in The North a couple of years ago. Although neither of these things are in the Branson league.

      None of that makes him an enemy of the poor, any more than Jacinda and Clark enjoying fishing while at the family bach from Clark's boat (which from what I have seen of it on TV is well north of $100,000).

      I personally think that one of the things that torpedoed CGT was the realisation it would hit things like family baches. There are apparently 250,000 of them in New Zealand, so at least 10% of New Zealand families own a bach. And they are used by many more people than the owners, either by being invited by friends who own them or by renting. Maybe 60 to 70% of New Zealanders at one time or another have had a bach experience. Of course a CGT could have exempted bachs, but then where do you stop with the exemptions?




      • weka 9.1.1

        the CGT only kicks in when the crib is sold, so I think the issue is more about the massive cultural push to use property investment to create retirement income.

        • Craig H

          Indeed. The sharemarket crash of 1987 and finance companies' collapses in the GFC rather put paid to a lot of savings for a lot of people though, so I can't blame people for going for property.

          • weka

            I seem to remember the government actively encouraged it because of the idea that we couldn't afford to support the Boomer generation when they retired. It was a neoliberal solution and is a big part of the reason we have a housing crisis. People kept voting in neoliberal governments, so I think holding them responsible is reasonable.

      • KJT 9.1.2

        It should have been mentioned that CGT would have only hit the "family bach" if/when it left the family, was sold.

        It would have slowed the beach McMansions bought as "investments". And made the "retirement beach houses" more affordable for most of us. The ones that are currently beyound our reach.

        Of course it didn't suit the opponents of CGT, who wanted people to think it was Mum and Dad's modest retirement crib, that would get hit.

      • Morrissey 9.1.3

        As a former president he is going to be invited to places that you and I can only imagine.

        As a friend of Wall St bankers and people like Branson, yes, he gets invited to places that decent people would steer clear of.

      • newsense 9.1.4


        Some people should have two places earning more in appreciation than most do in a year. And some should have their lives dependent on the character of their landlord.

        The family baches I've had experience at either stayed in the family or cost on book-a-bach. Not sure why a capital gains tax would worry anyone in either of those situations. 

        Lets run Wayne's story again:

        A: oh no I'm living in a car or a mouldy overpriced rental. 

        B: oh no, I may have to pay some tax on the goldmine bach I finally conned nana into agreeing to sell. 

        Not much of a tricky moral dilemma for most of us.

        • Wayne

          Blame the PM and "her tricky moral dilemma". She was the one who canned CGT. I was simply speculating on one of the reasons that she did. Incidentally I don’t own a holiday home.

          • KJT

            Not sure what finally got to her, on that one, but the unrelenting BS, about it, probably figured.

            I wouldn't be surprised if it was a National Government that eventually does it.

            With Bill English talking about too narrow a tax base.

            • observer

              " I wouldn't be surprised if it was a National Government that eventually does it."

              AKA Nixon to China …

              Eventually a party will announce that while they certainly do not want a CGT, because that's BAD, they are however prepared to consider a "land transfer levy" or "property purchase adjustment" or whatever else they can find in the dictionary.

  9. Cinny 10

    That's a first for the Corona Task Force Press Briefing….

    Short and sweet, no questions allowed. 

    trump and co just walked out…. this is important because his pressers have been very long and he always, always does Q+A.

  10. greywarshark 11

    Thinking on Anzac Day that we need a new name for it now that Australia does not view us as an equal ally but a doormat with Welcome on it.   I wonder what name we should give this day of remembrance in the 20th century?     WANZ Day for World and New Zealand Day?   

    And can we extend that to mean being kindly connected to the world, instead of wielding war on it as hapless tools of nations behaving viciously because they can.    Bring in a better Colombo Plan, first started in 1951. However not sufficient to prevent a dreadful civil war in Sri Lanka 1983-2009.     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colombo_Plan


    2001 – https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0111/S00468/the-colombo-plan-at-50-a-new-zealand-perspective.htm

    The  USA Peace Corps for humanitarian reasons not strategic anti-communist ones.    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_Corps  

    Let's hear more about the VSA – NZ Volunteer Service Abroad getting national media coverage not secondary to the latest school shooting in the USA.

    • Morrissey 11.1

      The Lackey Country says that New Zealand is a doormat? Really?

      • Ad 11.1.1

        If New Zealand has a cohesive foreign policy, no-one knows what it is.

        We've been freeloading off Australia for decades.

        • Morrissey

          Could you explain exactly how we "freeload" off the Lackey Country? Simply repeating a National Party talking point is not evidence.

          • RedLogix

            Ad's perfectly correct. Not only does NZ freeload off the Aussies, we drift along in the wake of wider global US security blanket as well. And even that's sliding off the bed as we speak.

            At most NZ talks up a commitment to multi-lateralism (Helen Clark's favourite word) but with the UN coming apart at the seams it's not clear what exact value lies in that direction.

            Other than our FTA with China and various other bilateral trade deals there isn't much else on the table that's obvious. Essentially NZ seems to be relying on a combination of remoteness and relative obscurity to fly below everyone's radar. But all modern maps have NZ clearly mapped nowadays and it's a lazy policy that one day may well bite us in the arse.

            • Morrissey

              Ad is correct, is he? But he didn't actually provide any evidence—although judging by your comments, National Party talking points are good enough, and no further debate is necessary.

              • RedLogix

                Ad's point is just that … there isn't much evidence of NZ having a comprehensive and visionary foreign policy.

                • Morrissey

                  there isn't much evidence of NZ having a comprehensive and visionary foreign policy.


                  Perhaps you've heard of our principled refusal to allow nuclear ships into our waters? Perhaps you've heard of our sending ships with cabinet members on board to prevent a rogue state detonating nuclear bombs in the South Pacific? Perhaps you've heard of our government leading a U.N. resolution against another rogue state in 2016?


                  Perhaps—-oh, you'd rather quote National Party talking points, obviously.

                  • RedLogix

                    Perhaps you've heard of our principled refusal to allow nuclear ships into our waters? 

                    Yes it seemed a good idea at the time. The ban on nuclear power was always just virtue signalling. The ban on nuclear weapons however simply irked the nation on whom we ultimately depended on for security. The only reason why we got away with it was because the idea never looked like spreading elsewhere and ultimately the USA didn't care about us that much.

                    In my view NZ has from a security perspective has freeloaded on our remoteness and the fact that any potential hostile nations all have other more pressing priorities than us, for decades. But push come to shove, we're utterly helpless on our own, but we obdurately refuse to own a fact that isn't lost on either Australia nor the USA.

                    • Morrissey

                      The ban on nuclear power was always just virtue signalling. 

                      Enough already with the National Party talking points.

                      … irked the nation on whom we ultimately depended on for security.

                      ????? You obviously don't know, but when we depended on other nations to help us counter the French regime, first in 1973, then in 1985, the United States went out of its way to side with France, and not us.

                      However, despite the hostility and obstructiveness of the U.S., and the uselessness of its Australian vassal, we did fine, tracking down and trying the terrorists responsible for the attack on the Rainbow Warrior.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      A dated [Sept 2006], well-researched article on differences (and commonalities) between NZ and Australia. ‘Freeloading‘ gets a mention, “virtue-signalling” not so much.

                      From the Pacific: A New Zealand perspective on Australia's strategic role

                      "It is inconceivable Australia would risk rupture with the United States as New Zealand did.  It was inconceivable that New Zealand could have joined the Iraq invasion without severe political ructions."

                      "One the commonest complaints in Canberra through that decade [the 1990s] was that New Zealand was freeloading on Australia."


                    • Morrissey

                      "One the commonest complaints in Canberra through that decade [the 1990s] was that New Zealand was freeloading on Australia."

                      Drowsy, that highly partisan and dodgy statement was written by Colin James, who was notorious as a government stenographer. 

                      That claim that Australia regarded NZ as a "freeloader" was also made, about the same time as James's article, on television by the Canterbury University academic Therese Arseneau. The host of the show, Paul Holmes, then said this: "You know, I talked to the chief of the Australian Defence Force just this week, and I put that to him. He said that nobody in the Australian top brass has ever said that. It's a myth." Arseneau, stopped in her tracks, nearly dried up with mortification.

                    • KJT

                      If I remember rightly, "freeloading" was a meme from New Zealand military Chiefs, wanting more funding.

                    • Morrissey

                      You're probably correct, KJT. As shown all too plainly by the less than thorough investigation into the actions of NZ troops in Afghanistan, New Zealand military chiefs are not noted for their honesty.


                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Morrissey, to be fair to James, he was writing (in 2006) about 'Canberra complaints' made in the 1990s, a period some 10 – 20 years prior to that April 2009 Q+A panel discussion between Holmes, Arseneau, Bob Harvey and Ron Mark.

                      "You know, I talked to the chief of the Australian Defence Force just this week, and I put that to him. He said that nobody in the Australian top brass has ever said that."

                      Have you got a link for your quote (above), because this is all I could find – not quite the same, and hardly surprising smiley

                      PAUL "Actually you know [NZ] Air Vice Marshal Bruce Fergusson when he stepped aside – he said it's nonsense that we've taken the bludgers option he said no Defence personnel from Canada the United States Britain or Australia have ever said anything like that to him."

                    • Morrissey

                      Thanks so much, Drowsy! I've been looking for that episode and never tracked it down! It appears my memory was faulty—it was a New Zealand military man cited by Paul Holmes, and not an Australian one as I thought. Sadly, the transcript doesn't capture Therese Arseneau's embarrassment.

  11. Observer Tokoroa 12


    Wars waged basically by adventurous youth, are supposed to be winners under the command of competent Generals and Senior Officers. Complete with maps and routes and Good Artillery.

    But the ANZAC youth didn't have any idea of that. They did not know even which steep hills to clamber. Which ridges. 

    And so our ANZAC Youth scrambled this way and that way, and got slaughtered up and down Gallipolli. So Sickening.

    All because the enemy turned out to be a sloppy British Military Mob. Who knew nothing.

    Whilst the clean cut Turks Military Command with its Extensive regional knowledge carried out their deadly efficient Duties. Hundreds of Kiwis Slaughtered. Many injured.

    Sometimes I wonder about the English. The Great Imperial Britain had everything. It still Struts and puffs.   It slops around about Brexit. It doesn't worry about its' numerous Poor. It's Health is under Funded.

    Britain should try harder. It has done nothing for all its Colonies. And very little for the Common man.



  12. Gabby 13

    Despite the Extensive Use of Capital Letters, Turkish Casualties in the Gallipoli Campaign were Apallingly Heavy.

  13. joe90 15

    Be careful what you wish for.


    Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido offers a grim lesson in the next phase of the battle against COVID-19. It acted quickly and contained an early outbreak of the coronavirus with a 3-week lockdown. But, when the governor lifted restrictions, a second wave of infections hit even harder. Twenty-six days later, the island was forced back into lockdown.

    A doctor who helped coordinate the government response says he wishes they’d done things differently. “Now I regret it, we should not have lifted the first state of emergency,” Dr. Kiyoshi Nagase, chairman of the Hokkaido Medical Association, tells TIME.

    Hokkaido’s story is a sobering reality check for leaders across the world as they consider easing coronavirus lockdowns: Experts say restrictions were lifted too quickly and too soon because of pressure from local businesses, coupled with a false sense of security in its declining infection rate.


    • bill 15.1

      Testing and contact tracing aside…we're told that asymptomatic people can infect others.

      But is that term being used to denote a person who hasn't yet exhibited symptoms, or a person who will not exhibit symptoms?

      Or are there pre-symptomatic carriers of infection as well as asymptomatic carriers of infection?

      If there are asymptomatic carriers of infection, are we looking at anything along the lines of herpes that can flare up in an infected person years from now? Given that a person with a herpes outbreak obviously exhibits symptoms and is only contagious while symptoms persist….

      But maybe 'asymptomatic' is just a lax use of terminology where pre-symptomatic would be more accurate?

      • Andre 15.1.1

        There is indeed distinction between asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic.

        Fears of asymptomatic carriers transmitting the disease appear to be receding.

        There are few reports of laboratory-confirmed cases who are truly asymptomatic, and to date, there has been no documented asymptomatic transmission. This does not exclude the possibility that it may occur. Asymptomatic cases have been reported as part of contact tracing efforts in some countries.


        However, pre-symptomatic transmission appears to have happened in a significant number of cases.

        In a small number of case reports and studies, pre-symptomatic transmission has been documented through contact tracing efforts and enhanced investigation of clusters of confirmed cases.12-17 This is supported by datasuggestingthat some people can test positive for COVID-19 from 1-3 days before they develop symptoms. (from WHO link above)

        It's unclear how many asymptomatic are in fact presymptomatic. There's the study linked below saying many of those initially classed as asymptomatic in a rest home study were actually presymptomatic. I've got tickling in the back of my head that I read something similar for the sailors aboard the USS Roosevelt


        There's also the question of those testing positive for the virus some time after they have nominally recovered. It's unclear whether those test results indicate the presence of live virus that could still re-infect and/or transmit to someone else, or if the test is just detecting the remains of virus corpses that have been dealt to by the immune system.

        I have yet to see any reports of someone that has been considered recovered, with several days symptom free and two or more negative tests, falling ill with COVID a second time.

        edit: here’s a fairly recent piece from Siouxsie Wiles on the asymptomatic/presymptomatic question.


        • bill

          Thanks Andre. The USS Roosevelt stuff is mentioned in the Spinoff link.

          From a further link running off the Spin-off piece, it seems NZ is testing for the virus but not anti-bodies…which just raises further questions vis a vis eventual total mapping of where the virus is and has been.

          At least (as far as I can figure) testing for the virus rather than for anti-bodies should pick up all pre-symptomatic cases.

          Sunshine and cigarettes are 'the go' apparently. (Vit D and nicotine 'they' say) I'm hoping for the tri-fecta, and so on the lookout for anything on the medicinal properties of top shelf alcohol so as to be passing me some purposefully lazy 'n hazy days 🙂

          • Andre

            Yes, in NZ we are testing for the virus (strictly speaking we are testing for bits of viral RNA that are unique to SARS-CoV-2). That's because we're still in the mode of finding people who actually have the disease and might transmit it to others.

            When it comes to antibody testing, that's useful to find people that have had it. Well, it would be if we could have confidence in the tests. At the moment, there seems to be a lot of doubt over whether any of the tests are any good. Questions have been raised whether the antibodies being detected by at least some tests are cold coronavirus antibodies, not COVID coronavirus antibodies. Antibody tests are not much good for detecting people who currently have the infection, early in the course of the disease you'll have a high viral load but bugger-all or zero detectable antibodies.

            When it comes to the effects of alcohol on COVID, go ahead and choose who you want to believe. The World Health Organisation or Trump Golf?


            • bill

              When it comes to the effects of alcohol on COVID, go ahead and choose who you want to believe. The World Health Organisation or Trump Golf?

              You do realise I was being 'somewhat' less than serious, yes?

          • lprent

            At least (as far as I can figure) testing for the virus rather than for anti-bodies should pick up all pre-symptomatic cases.

            Nope. Everyone kind of have to be pedantic about this type of stuff because otherwise you have boneheads like Trump getting gullible people pouring bleach down their throats, or fools smoking or drinking themselves to death based on probabilities that they can’t assess for risk.

            It depends if the swab picks up viruses where the swab is, in the throat or nasal cavity. Generally what they’re after if the people who are shedding newly manufactured covid-19 viruses in the upper of lower respiratory tract.

            There are multiple causes of false positive and negatives with that. I’ll ignore the false positives because most of them aren’t relevant.

            1. It takes between 1 and about 5 days before people start shedding viruses after being infected. So tests would need to be repeated regularly to say definitively that someone wasn’t infected after possible exposure at the respiratory system.
            2. People seem to be able to be infected in the digestive tract as well. This appears to be the cause of diarrhea symptoms. No one really seems to know what is happening with that. As far as I’m aware there is no evidence that this always results in a respiratory infection that could be picked up by a upper respiratory system swab.
            3. There is some evidence that indicates people can get blood stream infections as well (evidenced by blot clots). As far as I’m aware there is no evidence that this always results in a respiratory infection that could be picked up by a upper respiratory system swab.


            Generally biological infection systems are pretty hard to pin down to definites. Mostly you just have to define them with statistical probabilities of a particular type of event happening, and when you look at medical literature you’ll find the probabilistic and tight definitions are the norm. That is because probabilities are the basic way of all biological life and damn near everything else. Determinism is more of an artifact of people wanting simplifications than any kind of reality.

            • RedLogix

              Finished of The Crucible of Time last night. Engaging and thoughtful, good read. I just couldn't make up my mind of the 'folk's' biology was derived from an insect or plant model … both seemed possible.

              And rife with biological indeterminism 🙂


              • lprent

                I still have to re-read it. The last memory was from well before I got rid of my paper books in 2012. But I brought it last night along with “The Sheep Look Up” and “The Jagged Orbit” in a set.

            • Sacha

              Everyone kind of have to be pedantic about this type of stuff

              Certainly do, even  when some people really don't like to hear it.

            • bill

              Jesus fucking wept. So I might have said 'could' rather than 'should' – is that your point? 🙄

              • Incognito

                Nope, “can’t”.

                • bill

                  Fine. Limited by the test's efficacy. Quite unlike an antibody one that's looking for an indicator that won't necessarily be there at the time of testing.

                  So in terms of finding asymptomatic peeps….

                  • Incognito

                    Yup, the test result is limited by where and when the sample was taken, as explained by Lynne, and also how. Taking a sample takes a certain level of skill and experience, and then the sample is handled and transported, and processed. The actual PCR test is the final step in the process.

                    Asymptomatic peeps are a pain in the proverbial …

                    • Poission

                      PCR is sensitive also.

                      To detect past infections, which is important for understanding the development and spread of the virus, real time RT-PCR cannot be used as viruses are only present in the body for a specific window of time. Other methods are necessary to detect, track and study past infections, particularly those that may have developed and spread without symptoms.


                    • Incognito []

                      Yes, PCR is sensitive, assuming you do mean analytical sensitivity. It won’t be able to pick up the virus ‘footprint’.

                      I thought the problem was of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic carriers being able to infect others without knowing it.

            • Poission

              That is because probabilities are the basic way of all biological life

              Which is always problematic (almost surely) eg Monod.(chance and necessity)

              “Among all the occurrences possible in the universe the a priori probability of any particular one of them verges upon zero. Yet the universe exists; particular events must take place in it, the probability of which (before the event) was infinitesimal. At the present time we have no legitimate grounds for either asserting or denying that life got off to but a single start on earth, and that, as a consequence, before it appeared its chances of occurring were next to nil. … Destiny is written concurrently with the event, not prior to it… The universe was not pregnant with life nor the biosphere with man. Our number came up in the Monte Carlo game. Is it surprising that, like the person who has just made a million at the casino, we should feel strange and a little unreal?”

              “It necessarily follows that chance alone is at the source of every innovation, and of all creation in the biosphere. Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, at the very root of the stupendous edifice of evolution: this central concept of modern biology is no longer one among many other possible or even conceivable hypotheses. It is today the sole conceivable hypothesis, the only one that squares with observed and tested fact. And nothing warrants the supposition – or the hope – that on this score our position is ever likely to be revised. There is no scientific concept, in any of the sciences, more destructive of anthropocentrism than this one.”

              • lprent

                Indeed. Of course there is the multiverse probabilities as well. Move the forces of physics a tweak and the universe doesn't suffer some of those outside probabilities like long-life stars, or chemical reactions.

      • RedLogix 15.1.2

        As Lynn was saying yesterday, these novel zoonotic bugs do things we haven't seen before:

        COVID-19 kills “in a ferocious rampage through the body from brain to toes” doctors have explained, saying the virus “acts like no pathogen humanity has ever seen”.

        In an article in sciencemag.org, frontline clinicians caring for the five per cent who become critically ill are forming a “fast-evolving” snapshot of how it attacks different organs in different coronavirus patients.

        “(The disease) can attack almost anything in the body with devastating consequences,” Yale University cardiologist Harlan Krumholz told ScienceMag. “Its ferocity is breathtaking and humbling.”

        Clinicians and pathologists are only just coming to grips with the damage coronavirus causes as it tears through the human body.

        Although the lungs “are ground zero” doctors are realising the disease’s reach can extend to many organs including the brain, heart and blood vessels, kidneys and gut.

        Understanding the rampage it wreaks will help doctors in COVID-19 wards treat the small number who become desperately ill and sometimes die.

        On reading this I can't help but wonder if all those asymptomatic or trivial cases aren't being set up for a much more serious sequel episode some months or years down the track. 

        • David Mac

          Yes the science seems to be all over the place, the virus a very cheeky little monkey. Once a respiratory ailment and now creating stroke inducing blood clots.

          The storyteller in me wants to start a yarn that places the virus in the hands of the CCP 20 years ago and they've spent the last 2 decades creating an effective remedy.

    • RedLogix 15.2

      Very good link and a cautionary experience.

      Moving down from Level 4 to 3 should not be seen as the end of the effort to beat this bastard bug, but as a transition to the next phase in the fight. 

      Lockdown is not the most efficient tool in our arsenal, but it was the one that was immediately to hand when the crisis hit. It essentially bought us time to get a reliable test and trace capacity in place.

      Letting our guard down is not an option.

  14. Fireblade 17

    National Party in disarray.

    • millsy 17.1

      The only reason why National/ACT and their supporters oppose "helicopter cash" is because poor people would get it, and they would be able to pay their bills.

      (Then they proceed to complain that their tenants dont pay their rent).

    • pat 17.2

      Disarray ?….or muddying the waters.


      “We believe we should be moving as quickly as we safely can to open up the border,” Goldsmith told interest.co.nz; also criticising the Government for being too slow to close to the border in the first place.

      Goldsmith pointed to the restrictiveness of Level 3, but wouldn’t explicitly say what alert level he believed the country should be at right now, or when the alert levels should change."

    • Morrissey 17.3

      I despise and detest the National Party and its inept, immoral "leaders"—but I'll bet a large amount of money that they're in better shape than the disgusting, discredited, demoralized rabble that the British Labour Party has been reduced to.

      [Diverting much? – Incognito]

      • Incognito 17.3.1

        See my Moderation note @ 1:58 PM.

      • Morrissey 17.3.2

        The discussion was about a party in disarray. I pointed to an example of a party in even worse—far worse—disarray than National. I concede that the two parties are separated by 12,000 miles or so, but surely there are some parallels to be noted.

        [The discussion was about a specific party, the National Party of NZ. If you wanted to draw parallels and play whataboutery, you should have started your own thread. When comparing apples with oranges, there are parallels too, so this is a red herring trying to divert from your diversion – Incognito]

    • Morrissey 17.4


  15. pat 18

    A gnarly problem…

    How does NZ realign its financial market with the real economy (in a world that is intent on increasing the disconnect) without destroying its currency value….especially when it has lost (for the foreseeable) 20% of its export receipts and its other main foreign exchange source is at output capacity?



    • KJT 18.1

      I suspect, as with tourism, a lot more than we anticipate will, in reality, balance out.

      Our net balance of trade, may not be much different.

      Some drop in our dollar, will help.

      • pat 18.1.1

        'some' drop in the dollar is inflationary, especially when your export receipt capacity has just been decimated and you had an already negative trade balance…it is a recipe for stagflation.

        Granted there will be a deflationary impact from reduced demand  worldwide but that reduced demand also impacts our exports…. and substitute industries dont appear overnight.

        We need to realign asset values with the economy and that requires someone taking a hit….and a good proportion of those someones are offshore who may decide NZD is more trouble than its worth, especially when other players are bending over backwards (or more honestly, frontwards) to ensure they do not…that 'some' drop could easily become very large.

        Ultimately its going to end very badly but we are almost trapped into playing along….unless we decide its better to take the hit now rather than later.

        I suspect too many will want to wait

        • KJT

          Asset prices, especially land, have been misaligned with the possible business earnings, as an asset in a going concern, for a long time.

          Reflected in farm land prices and commercial rents, in particular.

          A correction has been avoided by bringing in lots of immigrants,and encouraging offshore speculation.

          It is really long overdue.

          But. It won't be pretty.

          • pat

            No it wont be pretty, either way…but there are added risks in rowing against the tide, at least in the short term….and short term thinking predominates.

        • Poission

          Granted there will be a deflationary impact from reduced demand  worldwide but that reduced demand also impacts our exports…. and substitute industries dont appear overnight.

          In NZ companies are often small enough,with a mixed client base to be able to switch markets,they have better flexibility.

          Very clear in the case of small fries.



          the larger processors also switched from supplying fast food to exporting supermarket product (in large quantities)

          This was also seen in toilet paper demand with large monoculture commercial production lines in the US and europe being idled, whilst capacity constraints were observed in the retail market.

          KPI and efficiency gains working against them.

          • pat

            yes there can be advantages in being small and nimble….and we will need to be all of that regardless.

            My main concern is we will make the same mistake as the US and bail out investors maintaining the disconnect. With the exception of Air NZ which the gov (we) currently own 52% of we havnt made that decision but the pressure to do so mounts daily.

            I have no problem maintaining a strategic asset such as AirNZ especially as we are likely to increase our holding and its vital to maintain trade links, the same dosnt apply to all assets.



            • Poission

              I agree,if we are required to bail out the investors,through wage substitution etc,we also should have a say on how that (nz taxpayers) money should be used.One example would be through the prohibition of dividends for a fixed period as the RBNZ has used with the Banks.

              This would essentially maintain liquidity with companies,by increasing capital.Companies that were able such as COVID 19 proof organisations such as telecoms and utilities could use that to repay debt,or fund capital projects.

              • pat

                Yes the dividend halt a good move..as was requiring the underwritten loans being determined on the basis of viability (though courageous)…but as noted the pressure for more mounts.

                Requiring the same for bailed out companies is reasonable but still needs to be on a basis of expected viability…no point in flogging a dead horse.

                Then there is the property market…theyve been staunch to date but again the pressure mounts…the same possibly going to appear in the rural sector, especially if commodity prices come under extended pressure (as I expect they will)

                I could foresee a substantial increase in HNZ stock

  16. Can't believe I missed this when it came out:

  17. joe90 20

    Surprise, profiteers want to profiteer.

    In New Haven, meanwhile, Dr. Joseph Vinetz, an infectious disease doctor at Yale School of Medicine, is seeking to launch a clinical study of the drug camostat mesylate, a generic medication approved in Japan to treat chronic pancreatitis that he hopes can be approved and marketed to treat COVID-19. If the trial succeeds, he said, this could be ”a total game changer.” But the process is proving fraught. Within hours of registering his trial on a National Institutes of Health website on April 20, he received an email from a large U.S. pharmaceutical company. “They are trying to take my project and engulf it for their proprietary [financial] gain,” Vinetz told me. “I take that email as a threat.”


  18. Ian 21

    It is going to take a lot of PR to polish the turd that is this current coalition. The kingmaker Peters about to be finally nailed by the Serious Fraud Squad,the greens out building electric railways  and the minister of unemployment Willie Jackson and his mates Dr Clark and Tywford rattling on about things they know nothing about.  Smell the roses guys . It will be the economy  that wakes up NZ from their Stockholm syndrome from where I am sitting.

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

  19. Bruce 22

    Bill Maher on covid, factory farms  and why we are here.

    • David Mac 22.1

      Good clip Bruce, Bill's talk left me with little argument against what he had to say. My animal intake continues to decline. My T-Bone derived pleasure is waning.

      I watched Tiger King, they outlawed touring freak-shows, it's a human thing.

  20. David Mac 23

    I'm counting the days until we see a new float on Wall Street.

    Trump PPE

  21. Ian 24

    Jacinda  is toast for the reasons you mention and Bridges is tarred with the same brush. The labour caucus does not have the talent to even help to fix the mess Ardern has inficted on NZ.  She has fucked the economy and hasn't a clue on how to fix it.Fasten your seatbelt folks,the approaching turbulence  will be tooth chattering.

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

    • David Mac 24.1

      Ian, you will get what you ask for, we all do.

      Most of us were asking for an empathetic guiding leader that relied heavily on science. We got Cindy and Ash and an awful lot of us are very pleased we did.

      The future, yep, it's unknown but given what's happened so far, I think most of us are happy to stick with this horse midstream. 

    • millsy 24.2

      People like you have fucked the economy and the environment with your greed.

      Our rivers are shitholes because people like you want to make more and more and more money.

  22. David Mac 25

    I think Ashley B makes about 500k a year. At last, someone on mega bucks that's worth the spend.

    …wonder what he spends it on? Nice house, yeah, but he's not a Ferrari kinda guy. I think he'd like a nice gourmet cheese and Florence. I guess Italy is going to be off the menu for a while. Come and see us up in Northland in the spring Dr B, we'll get you onto the snapper sweet-spots. 

  23. Fireblade 26

    No relation to policts, but here is a Bluegrass cover of Thunderstruck by AC/DC. Steve'n'Seagulls are based in Finland. It's just a bit of fun, but they are clearly talented musicians with a sense of humour.


  24. Observer Tokoroa 27

    Hi Ian

    Where can I forward your fresh turds- to replace the ones you gobbled up last night and the night before ?

    Do your children enjoy Turds too ?  I guess you ram them down their young throats –

    Just as you ram your pitiful obscenities down our five senses.   Grow up !

    [Grow up yourself! We don’t need this turd-slinging BS competition but you tend to take that one step further, crossing the line again, and make personal insults. I don’t know if Ian has any children but your comment about his children was unacceptable IMO. Take a week off – Incognito]

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