Open mike 26/09/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 26th, 2021 - 145 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

145 comments on “Open mike 26/09/2021 ”

  1. Gezza 1

    “The Taliban hanged a dead body from a crane in the main square of Herat city in western Afghanistan, a witness said Saturday (local time), in a gruesome display that signalled a return to some of the Taliban’s methods of the past.

    Wazir Ahmad Seddiqi, who runs a pharmacy on the side of the square, told The Associated Press that four bodies were brought to the main square and three bodies were moved to other parts of the city for public display.

    Seddiqi said the Taliban announced in the square that the four were caught taking part in a kidnapping and were killed by police.

    Ziaulhaq Jalali, a Taliban appointed district police chief in Herat, said later that Taliban members rescued a father and son who had been abducted by four kidnappers after an exchange of gunfire. He said a Taliban fighter and a civilian were wounded by the kidnappers but “the four (kidnappers) were killed in crossfire”.”


    I’ve read that such kidnappings for ransom were a common problem under the former Ashraf Ghani regime. There have also been several reports that some Afghans, while still watching & waiting with some trepidation to firm up their views on Taliban rule, nonetheless approve of their use of harsh penalties to reduce what had become previous rampant crime levels.

    • Stuart Munro 1.1

      The lower the standard of living, the less tolerance for crime – no life sentences in the wild west. Something for government to think about as neoliberal policies push more and more of us out of the comfort zone.

      • Gezza 1.1.1


        "One of the founders of the Taliban and the chief enforcer of its harsh interpretation of Islamic law when they last ruled Afghanistan said the hard-line movement will once again carry out executions and amputations of hands, though perhaps not in public.

        In an interview with The Associated Press, Mullah Nooruddin Turabi dismissed outrage over the Taliban’s executions in the past, which sometimes took place in front of crowds at a stadium, and he warned the world against interfering with Afghanistan’s new rulers.

        “Everyone criticised us for the punishments in the stadium, but we have never said anything about their laws and their punishments,” Turabi told The Associated Press, speaking in Kabul. “No-one will tell us what our laws should be. We will follow Islam and we will make our laws on the Quran.

        Cutting off of hands is very necessary for security,” he said, saying it had a deterrent effect. He said the Cabinet was studying whether to do punishments in public and will “develop a policy”. In recent days in Kabul, Taliban fighters have revived a punishment they commonly used in the past – public shaming of men accused of small-time theft.

        He said now the Taliban would allow television, mobile phones, photos and video “because this is the necessity of the people, and we are serious about it”. He suggested that the Taliban saw the media as a way to spread their message. “Now we know instead of reaching just hundreds, we can reach millions,” he said. He added that if punishments are made public, then people may be allowed to video or take photos to spread the deterrent effect.

        Even as Kabul residents express fear over their new Taliban rulers, some acknowledge grudgingly that the capital has already become safer in just the past month. Before the Taliban takeover, bands of thieves roamed the streets, and relentless crime had driven most people off the streets after dark."


        The worry is that they will also introduce harsh penalties against women for breaches of their strict morality precepts, dress codes & going out unescorted by a male family member.

        In the past that sometimes also included forcing women to marry their rapists, I believe.

  2. Ad 2

    This article is a summary on why US citizens particularly white people die faster than those in Europe, and many die from unequality-related illness, diseases of despair like alcohol drug addiction and suicide, exceptionally poor education impacts on life outcomes, and more.

    It's the first study that has helped me understand the sustained popularity of Donald Trump and the central southern states.

  3. Gezza 3

    Cheekybird feeling chatty

    I've got a bit of a thing for birds. Some breeds are incredibly smart, especially when it comes to identifying sources of food.

    Once they identify someone like me, who'll feed them, they come every day. And then the whole whanau will turn up in another day or two.

    They're all individuals. You can soon recognise some. Even among sparrows. Their feather patterns all differ in some small way. Some birds are very bold & take risks; others aren't, and won't. You can see them trying to work out whether or not they dare get as close as Cheekybird here.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      Yes – animals keep us grounded if you watch closely.

    • joe90 3.2

      We feed a disabled magpie and his squeeze[s]. We think he was hit by a car and it's left him with what looks like a painful hobble and his upper mandibile broken at the nostril and pointing skyward at about 40°. He was on his last legs when he turned up four years ago, young, damn near staved to death and unable to forage with his jiggered beak, so it was touch and go for a bit.

      He comes when he's called and prospered on a diet of dog roll, fat, meat trimmings, and the wit to hang out at our place during the local golf course culls.

    • mary_a 3.3

      I thoroughly enjoy your animal videos Gezza (3). Keep 'em coming please. Animals are a shining light in a threarening world.

      • Gezza 3.3.1

        Thank you very much, mary. ❤️ I will post more.

        They have been bringing a great deal of joy & interest to my life ever since I discovered that my stream is an entire, natural ecosystem, full of entrancing creatures, in the middle of a city suburb.

        They all enrich my life immensely & I have now learned so much about all of the animal & aquatic life in & around this awa iti. It's nice to hear that someone here is also enjoying these little video vignettes.

  4. Janice 4

    The other day I heard Dr Bloomfield say that pregnant 'people' should get vaccinated. For Christs sake he is a doctor, does he know of any other people besides women who get pregnant? I am fed up with the erasure of women just to protect the feelings of men who think they feel like women. Woman isn't a feeling it is a fact, I don't feel like a woman I am a woman.

    While I am on my soapbox I wonder how the MPs who are promoting the self selection of sex bill will explain to their daughters and granddaughters why they pushed for this bill that made their daughters and granddaughters compete with men and boys in sports and allow men and boys into their changing rooms and toilets. What is behind this attitude? There are far more important things to fix besides pandering to trans groups. I have decided that if I am still alive in 2023 I will vote Te Parti Maori as I will never be able to vote Labour or Green again, and of course the right is out of the question.

    Sorry for the rant, I had a bad night.

    • vto 4.1

      Good rant. It is ok to rant – when the ranty bits are peeled away what is left is often a very decent point. As yours.

      Calling them pregnant 'people' really is a torch-light on an anomalous absurdity in the history of time.

      Call yourself a woman, be a woman, express yourself as that to the heavens. And call out those who refuse to acknowledge who you are – like Bloomfield in that example.

      Women are amazing. Raise the flags I say.

      I often like the French way, and their saying right here is awesom imo … "vive la difference!"

    • Red Blooded One 4.2

      It may be a bit more complicated. From

      (Trystan Reese transitioned in his early 20s and the endocrinologist managing his testosterone therapy informed him that he would become in fertile and never be able to carry a child — that the testosterone would render his uterus “uninhabitable.”

      In his 30s, Reese carried and birthed a healthy baby in 2017.

      “I am not a fluke,” Reese wrote for Family Equality, an organization dedicated to LGBTQ+ families. “Hundreds and maybe thousands of transgender men all over the world have successfully given birth or otherwise contributed their eggs to a pregnancy.”)

      I am not going to argue the rights or wrongs of all this again, Janice, but Dr Bloomfield using inclusive language in no way diminishes who or what YOU are. Celebrate YOUR beautiful womanhood. I'm sorry if you had a bad night, I hope whatever caused it eases for you through the day.

      • francesca 4.2.1

        Transmen are men in a medically fabricated way .Biologically they remain women, as the pregnancy testifies to.

        You can of course change the definitions in a legalistic way, but the continued existence of the human race is still dependent on sexual reproduction , ova from women's ovaries and sperm from men's testicles.Whether or not men and women choose or are able to express this fact, we are all born of a biological woman .

        I may be a minority in the current social climate but hey , minority rights are upheld in our society aren't they?

    • francesca 4.3

      Me too Janice
      I strongly identify with the description woman inextricably entwined with breasts womb, vagina etc.Not that my genitalia dictate my destiny , but they’re such a part of my experience as a woman ,I am distressed at their linguistic neutering

      I’ve been a Labour then Green voter for as long as I”ve been able to vote.I can’t vote for either of them ,at present or anyone else for that matter .Thinking of putting my money and energy into grass roots activism instead.Traditional politics is geared to incremental change and short electoral cycles at a stage when we don’t have much time left.

      • RedLogix 4.3.1

        I've just spent an hour listening to Helen Joyce speaking to this.

        Although as a man this issue has only impacted me abstractly I can feel your distress and dismay at watching this post-modernist thought virus infect and dismantle every category on which our world is constructed.

        It's an intellectual bio-weapon targeted at western civilisation.

        • swordfish


          Queer Theory dogmatists … one of the most prominent in this Country being a former author at The Standard. These people are inherently autocratic.

        • francesca

          good link

          thanks for that

          • RedLogix

            On listening to Helen I'm struck by how much of this was pre-figured by the Jungian ideas of anima and animus. Just a thought.

      • felix 4.3.2

        I too have voted green or labour since I've been able francesca, but they both deserve severe punishment at the next election for pushing this bullshit. And I wouldn't be surprised or disappointed if there is enough of a backlash, especially but not exclusively from women, to spell the death of the green party in its present form.

    • Forget now 4.4

      I know more than one person who do not identify as cis women who have been pregnant; Janice. Scout is the much more wholesome example – and with political ambitions, is more willing to share their story in public ("Pepi" is a bit bigger now, but seems to be thriving).

      "I hope that she grows up in a peaceful, loving world and environment where she can go swim in the river if she wants to or she can wear a suit if she wants to. She can come out as transgender if that's who she is and it will be safe for her to do so. She won't have to question every single move she makes like I've had to."

      Perhaps Bloomfield is more concerned about spreading the vaccination message to as wide an audience as possible? Rather than enforcing colonial gender essentialism in Aotearoa. He is not one who strikes me as ignorant or simple minded.

      • francesca 4.4.1

        Spreading the vaccine message by deleting the word "women"?

        I think he's covering his butt wisely at a time of media lynch mobbing

        Do you think it's possible that a pregnant trans man would somehow not know unless Bloomfield deleted the word woman , that it was ok to have the vaccine while pregnant?

        How is it that "women" can be deleted , with the exception being when transwomen claim to be women.

        Gays and lesbians began to prevail when they stopped hiding and came out proud and loud.

      • I Feel Love 4.4.2

        I agree FN, & really, thanks.

        • Forget now

          At least Scout agrees to have their private life made public; IFL. The less wholesome examples I could mention would not thank me for airing their dirty laundry in this public forum. Let's just say; it is still possible for trans people to be raped (I should know! Though not personally being able to fall pregnant is a small mercy there), and leave it at that.

          Still, I do think that the Gender Critical are really sniping at the wrong target here. The imminent drama that is going to erupt over the introduction of Artificial Uterine Technology is going to make this kerfuffle look mild in comparison! "Pregnant People" is nowhere near as dehumanizing as "Biobags" courtesy of A. Flake (there are other people on the Philadephian research team of course, but that name does stick in mind).

          Personally, I regard GC as effectively a religion that is put out that others don't obey its commandments. But the world moves on, and the cutting edge of the present day will soon look quaint and antiquated. If any are then alive to see it.

      • felix 4.4.3

        Forget now, why do you think it is noteworthy that a woman became pregnant and gave birth to a baby?

        • Forget now

          Felix; Scout is NonBinary, so falls into the category of; pregnant persons, used by Bloomfield that began this thread (with Janice up at comment 4.0). That may not be important to you, but it certainly is to them.

          • felix

            What do you mean "is non-binary"? Are you claiming the discovery of a new type of mammal? The fact that she is able to conceive, carry, and birth live young suggests otherwise.

            • weka

              it's a term of self-identification of gender identity (not sex).

              • felix

                Then it has zero bearing on her pregnancy, hence my initial question.

                • weka

                  Women giving birth aren't just bodies though, they're also mental/emotional people with needs around culture. In the same way I would expect health services to have culturally appropriate approaches to say Māori, I would expect the same for trans/NB people. The issue is about how this impacts on women as a sex class.

                  The thing that interests me more is how much of the desire of trans men or NB females to remove women's language is because of gender dysphoria and how much is politics of identity.

                  • felix

                    I would never say someone is JUST a body, but to describe someone as neither male nor female is to say that we are not bodies at all.

                    Which is especially preposterous in the context of pregnancy. Is there anything MORE binary on earth than mammalian sexual reproduction?

            • francesca

              It seems like a lot of song and dance to describe a condition that is pretty well universal .I think I must be non binary. I know I'm a woman..because I was born with the biological architecture that enabled me to conceive and bear children .None of it was perfect, to the male eye, small hips, practically non existent breasts, but it all worked brilliantly, milk for Africa.

              Genderwise, I don't identify with any of the stereotypes of femaleness, some of them, yes, but I also have what society views as masculine traits.

              Who actually conforms entirely with gender stereotypes? I venture none.

              Binary sex with very rare exceptions is just a biological fact that keeps the human race reproducing itself

              Gender on the other hand is a social construct, a set of societal expectations that has been pretty much dismantled over the generations.I mean really, you can pretty much do whatever the hell you like .I know women builders, electricians, doctors, soldiers, mechanics.I don't own a dress, have only worn them as a theatrical prop at a wedding, can run a chain saw and change a tire.Also love to cook and wear makeup.So I declare myself to be of non binary gender.

              In fact I think we'd all be a hell of a lot better off not constructing ever more boxes to stuff ourselves and each other into

          • weka

            Felix; Scout is NonBinary, so falls into the category of; pregnant persons, used by Bloomfield that began this thread (with Janice up at comment 4.0). That may not be important to you, but it certainly is to them.

            Likewise, it's important to many women to use language that makes us visible. This is the conflict of rights, and because No Debate was so successful, we're now in an antagonistic stand off instead of working together to negotiate a resolution. Women won't go away on this, and if we win trans people may be harmed in the process or backlash, not because women want that, but because the gender identity activists and neolibs tried to take our rights away and we fought back and society was too stupid to let both groups needs be met.

            • veutoviper


              Births, Deaths, Marriages, Relationships Registration Bill and SOP 59

              A quick note to see whether you – and others – are aware that the Governance and Administration Select Committee (GASC) are meeting again today and on Wednesday to hear further oral submissions on the BDMRR Bill and SOP.

              The GASC has split into two subcommittees A and B which are meeting simultaneously (10am – 5pm) with both meetings being live streamed liv on the GASC Facebook site– links to these here –

              I am having a bit of trouble watching to due to my old PC crashing (and my very bad eyesight) but did catch parts of a submission about an hour ago to SubCommittee A (Rachel Boyack, ( Deputy Chair to GASC) , Elizabeth Kerekere and Nicola Grigg by a woman calling for the SC to take more time etc before rushing through the Bill and SOP in view of the possible negative effects re safety of both women and trans people ivis a vis self ID and access to safe places. Will try to determine the speaker etc a she was very articulate in the little I saw.

              Thanks to you and others bringing the issue of women safe places and the issues to notice as I fully support your stance on the need to protect women’s rights to safe places while also supporting trans rights to similar safe places – and to much more simple procedures to express their gender id on relevant official documents.

              I have been following this quite closely from a point of view of the parliamentary processes etc (as a former public/state servant of many years). Frankly I came away from the Second Reading of the Bill in August feeling like I had stepped Through the Looking Glass into an alternative world where up was down and black was white!

              Re the Second Reading speeches, I was appalled by the attitude of certain (not all) Labour MPs (in particular Rachel Boyack) to the concerns of women re safe places and our hard fought for rights to these; whereas the National women MPs (Louise Upston, Barbara Kuriger – and in particular Nicola Grigg) mentioned these and Nicola Grigg (Nats spokesperson on Women) spoke strongly in support.

              However, Collins restructuring of her Shadow Cabinet in late August has had considerable effects on Select Committee memberships and in the case of the GASC this has meant the both Upston and Kuriger are no longer on the SC with Kuriger replaced by Ian McKelvie (N) coming in as Chair of the SC, and Rachel Boyack as Deputy Chair.

              I have only watched bits of the first hearing of the GASC hearing last week but was appalled at the behaviour of most of the MPs …

              Any thoughts of a further post etc on this? Happy to contribute more to/participate in one – and do qualify for a women only one.

              • weka

                Thanks, really appreciate all that. I'm trying to write a post about last week's GAC, it's complex and it's been hard to find information. Your understanding of the process would be invaluable. I wonder if I should put up a women only post in the first instance so we can talk it through. I'm also quite busy in RL at the moment.

                There's also been a lot going on on twitter re the Lancet and ACLU removing women's language.

                • weka

                  I as incredibly heartened to see FOWL's submission last week, seeing those older 2nd wave feminists stand up and speak so strongly. One post that would be good would be all the GCF submissions outlined in one place (I haven't watched them all yet). I can link to the videos for people to watch (with time stamp). Will see how I go.

                • veutoviper

                  I agree that the whole thing is very complex with so many different factors and views etc.

                  I had to go out yesterday but spent the night watching yesterday’s GAC Subcommittee A submissions and half the Subcommittee B ones – what else is there to do between 2am and 5am? LOL

                  RE a post, why not leave it until after tomorrow’s GAC hearings as, in reality there is nothing more anyone can do now that submissions are closed etc. [Edit – now see that the two subcommittees are booked for further hearings all day on Friday, 1 Oct as well).

                  My impressions from what I have watched of yesterday’s hearings is that the submissions cover a surprisingly large range of reasons why a wide range of people think that the Bill and SOP should not go ahead as currently drafted and that the timetable for submissions, hearings etc as been/is far too rushed.

                  Re subcmtee A, Boyack’s performance as Chair was better than at last week’s GAC but still reflected her bias with her cutting off people who did not support her views, but as the submissions went on, she seemed to begin to realize that the whole thing was not going to be the walkover she and others hoped for …

                  I want to finish watching Subcmtee B before coming to any full conclusions but my impressions of McKelvie's chairing exceeded my expectations in terms of open-mindedness etc. He pulled up Deborah Russell very sharply at one point but I need to go back and watch it again as I was half asleep by then!

                  My overall feelings at this stage (based on my experience of appearing before Select Committees and working as a govt departmental adviser to some) is that it was thought by the govtt and GAC that they would just be able to forge ahead with the SOP proposed changes enough to do so and get this off their plate. With over 6600 written submissions received in the very short time available to make submissions -compared to 27 (?) to the original Bill back in 2017 – that alone should have been a big wake- up call to the GAC that it was not going to be that simple. LOL

                  A lot of people suggested that a gender ID document separate to the birth certificate but which could be presented where needed with the birth certificate which resonates with me personally …

                  Anyway, just my sleep deprived thoughts at this stage. Re a Post, again I don’t think it is imperative in the next few days and you/me/we could take a little more time to see what happens at the further hearings this week and possibly further on…(Note to self, check schedule for report back dates etc)

                  I want to go back and look again at the overall written submissions as I did a bit of a random sample last week and was surprised at the number of (form type) submissions from providers of single sex facilities like gyms who submitted questions/views on their position in allowing/disallowing self-ID people to use their facilities … Haven’t seen any oral submissions on this as yet … Were there any in last week’s GAC? Will go back and check this.

                  Confession time: I used to be ideologically opposed to women only or lefties only posts on the basis that this did not fit with left kaupapa and felt like gated communities with all that those represent… (I have a strong aversion to these!) You have convinced me that there is definitely a place for women only posts in terms of the response to the recent ones – and enough for me to suggest the next post on this subject should be one – but leave that to you, LOL. Not yet convinced about left only posts (but that is a totally different subject which I will leave for now, lol).

                  On an admin aside, how do I discretely change my email address with TS to another one I have which is more anonymous than my current one?

                  • weka

                    will reply more fully later, but I've changed your email address. See if that sticks next time you comment. You don't need a real email address, so can keep using that fake one or put in a new one yourself. Your first comment may get held up to be released manually. Unfortunately your historic comments will still have your old email address in the back end.

    • Peter 1 4.5

      He must be right, because people keep asking me if I am expecting twinsblushblushblush

      • Johnr 4.5.1

        At the other end of the spectrum I note that we will now use batter for batsman.

        So, what are we going to call a hooker or loose forward now ??

        • Gabby

          A batter?

        • alwyn

          I can think of a few options. However discretion, and a wish to keep my body in one piece, prevents me calling Dane Coles a prostitute or Ardie Savea a trollop.

          They might understand, and accept the terms, but I'm not willing to bet on it.

      • Jester 4.5.2

        What are manhole covers called these days?

        • Muttonbird

          I think this is where the Breitbart/Peterson/Telegram crew let themselves down. Plucking terms from thin air to try win a point in culture wars of their own making.

        • Gezza

          Maintenance hole cover seems to be what they've gone for somewhere or other in the USA. Another popular one over there is utility hole cover.

          Although I've personally been calling them personhole covers for years, for fun.

          I also refer to policepersons.

          Having worked for a year in the 70's with one really ardent (strident might be more accurate) feminist who noisily made it her business to try & eradicate the usage of "man" in any word that she could, I gave up arguing & now anywhere I think I can remove "man" from a word & replace it with "person", I do it.

          My friends know that's how I roll & often find the new de-sexed word worth a smile.

          Except for wopersons. No woman I've ever asked has wanted to be called a woperson. They all prefer "woman".

          • Pete

            A problem to be named 'Chapman' eh?!

          • Jester

            That would have been fun working with her back in the 70's!

          • felix

            Sometimes there are non-sexed words available that do a better job of description. Police Officer, for example.

            • Gezza

              Felix – yes, I know, & I use them. But they don't get me as many smiles as adding person to the end of "man" ending words.

              I always have that strident feminist I worked with in mind when I do call a job something like fireperson.

              She got to be so outrageously anti-men, pro-women if you opened a door & held it open so she could go into a room ahead of you, she's stop & loudly announce: Don't tell me you're another of those men who think a woman can't open a door for herself!"

              Bloody ridiculous! I opened them for men as well. It's just good manners to be courteous & hold a door open (especially doors with self-closing mechanisms) while letting others precede you into a room.

              • felix

                If you're a doorperson it's a crucial part of the job.

                • Gezza


                  I never thought about. As far as I know we never had any in Welly at the time – maybe a few bouncers?

                  She went to London when she left. She’d have encountered a few of them there, & in Singapore & various other countries en route. She’d probably not challenge them tho. She was pretty culturally aware.

                  Just her social skills that were a bit suspect. I concluded she was a man-hater but subsequently learnt she had happily married a very nice bloke & they had 2 nice kids.

                  Probably got a bit more life experience overseas, grew up & calmed down. She was otherwise quite a smart cookie.

        • psych nurse

          butt plug

    • Anne 4.6

      I have not piled into this debate and don't intend to start now except to say I'm with you Janice.

      It is #$$%# (choose your own swear word) nonsense calling a pregnant woman a pregnant person. I suspect Bloomfield was coerced into using the term.

      My take is: stop dehumanising people and turning them into nothing objects by refusing to acknowledge the differences between us which is worthy of celebration not eradication.

      I recall the 1970s and 80s when it became a social crime to refer to chairwoman and chairman. It had to be chairperson which to my mind amounted to an insult on both your houses.

    • SPC 4.7

      The NOW has fought for "gender equality" for decades – equal opportunity in public society, but has been unable to make an effective defence of the safety of biological women, because it was not set up to do this.

      The transgender use the same arguments they did and thus they have been unable to counter them.

      Possibly women need to form an alternative organisation, to continue that fight for equality but also the rights and safety of those born biologically female, including fair competition in physical activity (sport).

    • mary_a 4.8

      100% agree with your sentiments Janice (4). Don’t apologise for your rant. You said it as it is and I thank you for doing so.

      [fixed minor typo in user name]

    • Sabine 4.9

      he was actually polite

      The Lancet just called self identified non males 'bodies with vaginas'. 🙂

    • Ed1 4.10

      I can understand the concern, but I can also recall quite a few couples (and particularly the woman in the couple, announcing a pregnancy with "we are pregnant" – perhaps just naturally inclusive speech acknowledging past contribution to the event, but also perhaps reinforcing the need to encourage support in the future. Language can be a funny thing . . .

    • miravox 4.11

      My soapbox is that there is too much noise about what gender women who identify as men are when they are pregnant. I do however, agree with the terms pregnant females or pregnant people.

      This comes from being a 15 year-old pregnant person back in the day – in no way was I a 'woman' – female definitely, but woman and all the maturity and cultural baggage that entails, no. And there are a fair number of kids who are younger than that who have to deal with pregnancies. Calling all pregnant people 'women' renders these young people invisible.

      I'd much rather gender activists put some time into the issues pregnant kids face. The grown-up self-identified can work it out for themselves.

      • weka 4.11.1

        there's how we feel about it personally, and then there's public health messaging.

        At 15 years old would you have understood that the term 'pregnant woman' applied to you if someone on the telly had said it was safe for pregnant women to get x treatment?

        • miravox

          I believe public health messaging would be improved if pregnant females were referred to pregnant people. I really did not see myself as a woman when I was a pregnant girl (I was just 15, not nearly 16), and I think young people would be more inclined to use ante-natal services and there would be fewer hidden pregnancies, if terminology was more inclusive. Of course there are a wide variety of views even among young teens about how they feel.

          Bu as a grown woman I can understand entirely how it feels to have biology denied over and over again by demands for language and space to reflect trans rights at the expense of the needs of biological women. It's just on this issue that I think there is a good reason for changing the terminology. I'd have liked women (including me) to have thought of this a long time ago.

  5. Sanctuary 5

    A quick glance at morning papers and I suggest you don't bother, it's a wall to wall whine fest of butt hurt middle class entitlement and boomer reckons.

    • Joe90 5.1

      On the upside, Clint Heine admits that the animosity “has taken a toll on me personally” and feels less likely to ever return to NZ permanently.


      • Sanctuary 5.1.1

        I breathlessly await our fearlessly identarian print media to run a story about an Otara cleaner in a MIQ facility who lives with seven other people and doesn't know anyone who has ever used MIQ.

      • Sanctuary 5.1.2

        Every person pictured in that story is a member of an extremely privileged … middle class, with an extra helping of pretty … woman syndrome.

        [RL: Deleted gratuitous references to skin colour. Be more careful.]

        • Sanctuary

          The 1980s called and asked for its unconscious racism back.

          The inability to confront the race element to class in this country is an outright act of racism itself, something that should be socialism 101 but apparently escapes certain complacent old people around here.

          [RL: Take a week off. You are a repeat offender with these racist and ageist tropes. Next ban will be longer.]

          • RedLogix

            See Moderation Note.

            • Bearded Git

              RL: The Standard is a poorer place without Sanc.

              • RedLogix

                Yes it would be.

                And I have yet to see a valid argument to accept the casual denigration of anyone on the basis of their skin colour.

                Swordfish nails it below.

                • SPC

                  Personal attacks are OK, but criticism of class interest is forbidden when one notes the preponderance of any group in that class?

                  • arkie

                    Considering the opprobrium directed at 'Marxists', that seems to be the case.

                    • Tiger Mountain

                      Yes, “marxist” is certainly used as a pejorative by some posting and commenting here–“closet marxist” (as used several times this year by Redlogix), “undercover marxist” and other references.

                      Marxist should be able to be used as a descriptor similar to social democrat or tory.

                    • RedLogix

                      Unlike skin colour, marxism is a condition you have chosen.

                    • arkie

                      Marxism isn't a condition, it's a method of analysing socioeconomics, particularly capitalism. That you sling it around as a pejorative further demonstrates your lack of understanding of it.

          • swordfish


            You have a tendency to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds, Sanc … sometimes you adopt an explicitly anti-Woke persona … but then you also frequently indulge in the crude, low resolution ritualised virtue-signalling closely associated with an Upper-Middle Woke cadre looking to enhance their in-group prestige & signal elevated social status.

            Like some of the more financially privileged, socially-divorced commenters here, you wouldn’t have a fucking clue about what’s happening in lower & mixed income areas … instead you indulge in ludicrously misjudged moral posturing & performative narcissism … masquerading as ‘altruism’ & the possession of unusually refined sensibilities.

            • SPC

              How dare people not brown nor working class show solidarity ….

              • swordfish


                Yes, like you my understanding is that all white people are wealthy & morally suspect, all poor people are brown, all brown people are both poor & eternally innocent & virtuous.

                Like I say: “crude, low resolution ritualised virtue-signalling” from a cadre of narcissistic & paternalistic middle-class professionals without a fucking clue.

                • SPC

                  Modelling is a science and it says what it says about population demographics, and income and wealth disparity.

                  narcissistic & paternalistic middle-class professionals without a fucking clue.

                  You mean people like your brothers, Mike Hosking and Sean Plunkett and Peter Williams?

      • AB 5.1.3

        It's just a completely pragmatic numbers game – we cannot give unrestricted right of return to all expats without endangering the people already here. It sucks for the expats who want to get back, but it's the sort of thing that happens in crises – the less bad of two unpleasant options has to be chosen.

        I'm a bit surprised at times that some expats don't seem to understand something so obvious. It does sound entitled, but we should hold back on the criticism without first thinking about how we might behave in a similar situation.

    • vto 5.2

      ha ha yes it is… you know why of course… they are the only ones who read papers now…

      • Sanctuary 5.2.1

        All this stuff about "living in fear" and "hermit kingdoms" is just middle class shorthand for "I'm vaccinated, fuck South Auckland I want my overseas holiday."

    • Anne 5.3

      Thanks for the warning. I'm getting heartily sick of it.

      Edit: Your 5.2.1… Bang on!

  6. Reality 6

    A quick read through John Key's Herald piece today left me with the overall impression of a very rich privileged man not happy he perhaps has not been able to go to Hawaii or wherever he goes to continue his comfortable lifestyle and meet up with his influential contacts.

    The actual day to day reality and logistics of doing what he wants is glossed over.

    • Sanctuary 6.1

      The staggering thing about Key's piece is it's glib know nothing-learnt nothingness. If it had been printed last April then fair enough, but it is simply a rinse and repeat of every failed right wing COVID strategy of the past 18 months given prominence by dint of his wealth and privilege. It is the winners of the neoliberal consensus clinging to their pre-pandemic ideology where their privilege was assured.

      Lets be honest the MIQ system offer cheap shots to a lazy emotional knee jerk MSM – a conveyer belt of the sleek, articulate and entitled global middle class complaining at the unfairness of having to wait in queue like everyone else. The biggest whine about sportspeople getting special treatment from these MIQ complainers is that they feel insulted to be informed they are not the most important people in the world. But here is the rub – if the government did allow these people to buy their way in via a rubbish private MIQ and covid escaped (as it has, easily, from ever other attempt to run MIQ privately), they'd be blamed. If the government allowed private MIQ for the rich the likes of Andrea Vance would segue seamlessly from bitterly complaining she can't go "home" on holiday to shedding bitter crocodile tears on behalf of the poor who can't afford private MIQ.

      the pandemic has underlined to harsh nature of our class divide, and the near total dominance in our media the of the middle class neoliberal consensus.

      • RedLogix 6.1.1

        It's always instructive to see what people do with a little bit of moral power.

        • Gezza

          In Guyon Espiner’s RNZ podcast series on claims of PRC interference in politics & academia here, Sir John basically saw no problems. Said he’s on Xi’s Christmas Card list & still gets a card from him every year. 😎

          • RedLogix

            Key is a 'smooth operator' – says and does all the right things to your face, just be aware of the knife he has ready to slip between your ribs if the need arises.

            As for his Xmas card list – I think we'd all be quite astonished at who was on it.

            • Gezza

              Don’t think I am. Or, if I am, they’re not getting delivered.

              Wonder if Winston Peters is on it?

              And Ardern, & Mahuta?

              I imagine most country’s leaders have all the other leaders on the Xmas Card Lists. Even a few Muslim ones. But I imagine Key stays on Xi’s cos’ he don’t make no waves & is probably still putting plenty of business his way, so to speak.

  7. Using open mike so as not to derail MS' thread.

    Being an old, white man myself, how is it wrong to mention it in reference to other old, white men? Isn't it like black people using the N word to each other?

    After all, it can’t be racist, ageist or sexist, can it?

    • roblogic 7.1

      Yes it can when used as a pejorative implying that all people of that particular hue have some intrinsic moral disorder

      • The Al1en 7.1.1

        That's confusing me now, being an old white male.

        So when I call someone a 'privileged old white man', the pejorative must be the word 'privileged', because it assumes, to some, that all old white men must be?

        Should I apologise to Key for calling him privileged, even though he is?

        • I Feel Love

          Old white guy here too Alien, (well 50ish), & hetero! It amazes me how precious & sensitive other white guys are, it's quite embarrassing really. How dare anyone criticize us!

      • weka 7.1.2

        Yes it can when used as a pejorative implying that all people of that particular hue have some intrinsic moral disorder

        In this case the particular hue was old white men of privilege (getting to write in the MSM). There's an implication in the phrasing that privilege is the issue here, relative to say brown people who are relegated to facebook. It's a shorthand way of talking about the three axes of class based oppression (socio economic class, sex, and ethinity/race). Pretty standard aspect of left wing politics. I'm curious if you see the issue here the analysis itself, or the way it was phrased in this instance (eg casual social media type reckon thrown out without much analysis).

        • RedLogix

          That’s an argument with some merit – my response:

          One it's no longer true that Maori and Pacific voices are relegated to facebook – a quick glance shows they have a substantial media presence, a development we can both celebrate and encourage.

          Secondly if the idea of a Treaty partnership is to mean anything, the goal of building the capacity of both partners can be the only legitimate path forward. If we are going to play zero sum game between the ethnicities that comprise modern NZ – we will reap a terrible price. Think Yugoslavia for example.

          Thirdly if anyone was to casually – even as a lazy shorthand – denigrate any other skin colour – brown, yellow or black – everyone here would instantly recognise what was happening. The only reason why sneering at white people has been allowed to slide – seems to be the unspoken ideology that Europeans are held to be collectively guilty of all the evils in the world and are thus fair game.

          All of this falls out of an intersectionality theory explicitly constructed to ensure older, white males are unconditionally categorised as the 'privileged oppressor class'. The definition of racism is to ascribe moral deficiencies to a class of people based on personal characteristics they have no control over – skin colour, sex, and age being the primary ones.

          This emperor has no clothes.

        • roblogic

          The implication of privilege is not obvious to everyone.

          The "pale stale male" -type rhetoric that ignores the fundamental injustices of class in NZ — housing costs, renters rights, worker exploitation, high cost of living, two tier justice system, etc. — that affect everyone. Although the profile of privilege has a certain look, plenty of white people do not enjoy the ‘bounty’ that neoliberalism has delivered to NZ

          Identity issues matter but class solidarity should be first, IMO.

          • weka

            In this case, the word privilege was used as a qualifier, so it was nothing to do with white people generally, or even white men generally.

            Here's the original comment,

            If there's anything worse than a privileged old white man it's a privileged old white man with free access to editorialise in the press.


            'Pale, stale, male' is an obvious pejorative. This is different from using the words white, male/man, old as descriptors.

            • roblogic

              That reference did not appear in The Alien's comment upthread, and instead it came across as careless abuse.

              I don’t take it personally, but the trend of people like Ricardo Menendez casually insulting a large segment of NZ society just seems like a political self-own.

              • weka

                Yeah, I'm not sure about what I think about TA's opening comment here. The comparison with N word doesn't really work in this context. Maybe.

                Can you please show me examples of RM's words (even as you see them)? I do agree there are issues for working class people, especially men, when they're not factored in to identity politics, and we should be dealing with this better by now in politics generally.

                • roblogic

                  Perhaps RMM was trolling or just ignorant when he said "there sure are a lot of old white men on these walls", then went on to ridicule the oath of allegiance, address Parliament in Spanish, and make a mockery of his portfolio with his "Are you OK Boomer?" comment.

      • KJT 7.1.3

        Like saying lefties are "Marxists", then!

    • SPC 7.2

      It's useful to note those advantaged by growing wealth derived from, and yet limited taxation, our property market and by open borders reducing working class wages.

      And the attempt by some of that demographic to use identity politics to protect themselves from criticism of their privilege – calling it ageist, sexist and racist.

      In the pandemic, there have been two phases – the first where this group supported elimination, the second where they support vaccination as a ticket to a return to the pre pandemic order.

      In that they see a trade off (complacent in their entitlement of expectation that decades of privilege will make them healthy enough to cope with infection) they are prepared to make for the sake of lifestyle (the same lifestyle that also places long term GW concerns as secondary).

      • RedLogix 7.2.1

        by open borders reducing working class wages.

        I can recall a time not so very long ago when any call to reduce immigration would be instantly branded racist. Or how appalling Winston Peters was for raising the issue. Now this is all turned on it's head, very confusing.

        Besides we aren't talking about 'open border' immigration – it's about the ability of New Zealand citizens to return to the only country they have an unalienable right to live in.

        If you want to make an argument to close NZ’s borders indefinitely – which reads as your underlying message – then make the case honestly.

        • SPC

          I was not making an argument for closing borders permanently and to say that was is a misrepresentation.

          A pandemic is like a war, and no government has international mobility of its citizens as a priority in wartime.

          PS It seems to have escaped you, but the government planned an immigration reset prior to the pandemic (and was part of their coalition agreement with NZF in the previous term). And based on Labour principles – a housing crisis and need to improve our wage levels with rising rent cost.

          • RedLogix

            The exact phrase I used was 'closed indefinitely'.

            Because when you argue against all reasonable plans to resume global travel – this is the logical implication you are making.

            • SPC

              Planning a definitive time for re-opening is implausible. And only a fool would proffer one and keep to it. There are too many variables.

    • McFlock 7.3

      Approaching that description myself.

      Not a damned problem with the term, no matter who uses it. I could talk about it as a reflection of the disproportionate homogeneity in capitalist and civic power structures, but it would largely fall on deaf ears.

      • The Al1en 7.3.1

        I'm not ancient at 54, though I am literally old enough to be a dad to everyone on my work crew, so a little artistic licence on my part.

        Totally agree about the usage of the term, especially being able to tick all the boxes.

        Maybe it does give cause for grinding axes – Or at least sharpening the legs of their zimmer frames. lol

  8. Muttonbird 8

    I see the culture wars have finally made it to The Standard.


    • Forget now 8.1

      culture wars have finally made it to The Standard; Muttonbird? Where have you been?!

      But at least people here do generally have some facts they can link to, if pushed, rather than simply pulling rank opinions from various orifices. I may not always agree with the interpretation, but it's better than claiming ubstantiated revealed wisdom from unquestionable authority.

      [fixed typo in user name]

      • Forget now 8.1.1

        Comment awaiting moderation. Is there a mod note somewhere I should have read? I am on mobile, so can't see replies button (nor sidebar).

        Whatever, it's a nice day down in Otepoti. I should be getting on with gardening rather than being the token trans commenter on TS.

        • Incognito

          Minor typo in user name fixed

          • Forget now

            What was the typo for future reference; Incognito? That was my first thought, but I couldn't see anything obvious, nor was I using a different (nonspam-magnet) email. Probably something like a double space – that is hard to detect by eyeball.

        • Red Blooded One

          Respect 👍

        • Joanne perkins

          Sorry but not the token, in recent times I have been commenting and I have clearly stated I am trans, and I'm ancient as well so i seem to tick both boxes and according to some on here I also tick the male box as well though I respectfully disagree with them on that one

          [Please stick to the pre-approved e-mail address, thanks]

          • Forget now

            That's nice to read; JP, I am not on the site as much as I once was so must have missed most of your contributions. Good that someone else is here to wave the pastel tricolour flag! It is sometimes a bit of an interesting exercise to put words to ideas that seem so very basic that one does not often articulate them. Also rather wearying at other times.

            Being older Takatāpui myself (if not quite over the border to ancient), I do find that the young ones – particularly around universities, where they have ample support networks, do come off as rather brash. It is strange being around trans people who don't expect to be beaten and harrased as a matter of course for being how they are. Also rather inspiring.

      • Anker 8.1.2

        Thanks Forget Now appreciate what you are saying. I know we disagree over these issues, but having a discussion /debate is important.

        I try to play the ball not the person, but happy to be challenged when people feel otherwise.

    • millsy 8.2

      I think you will find that the culture wars have been on this blog for a while now.

      Every single open mike thread always seems to turn into a discussion about trans issues.

      • I Feel Love 8.2.1

        It's already got a reputation as a place unsafe for trans people, which was probably the SUFWs plan, which is sad, as there are few safe places for them anyway, a "left" wing blog shouldn't be.

  9. Muttonbird 9

    What's the bet National's alternative Covid plan features Des Gorman and the new poster boy for the ‘let it rip’ crowd, Rodney Jones.

    And "peer reviewed" by the developers of home spit tests.

    • SPC 9.1

      Jones "maybe" being misrepresented.

      He's an economist, he was prepared to go with another week at Level 4 in Auckland (presumably to reduce risk it would compromise latter moves to opening up).

      He saw the Hendry modelling as scaremongering (doubted it as an accurate forecast – confusing the issue because such models are not forecasts, the information is acted on so the threat is avoided), or maybe the public release of it.

      As a current insider, he may simply be of the control the narrative school to manage the public.

      But then again, the people knowing might scare them from accepting an earlier opening up, so manage the public into getting used to a little spread (de facto end of elimination), then a little more with higher vaccination rates and soon chastity is discarded totally when drunk on the fruit of freedom.

  10. Incognito 10

    The leading category of death changes with age. Medical conditions were the most common cause of death in children aged younger than 15 years, suicide was the most common category in those aged 15–19 years and injury was the main cause in those aged 20–24 years.

    Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee: 15th data report: 2015–19 | Te Rōpū Arotake Auau Mate o te Hunga Tamariki, Taiohi: Te pūrongo raraunga 15: 2015–19

    The death spiral starts long before conception and birth and ends with death of individuals whose changes for a fulfilling life were cut short by a multitude of circumstances and missed opportunities. To argue that some of those deaths are caused by single ‘stupid’ personal choices of the young person and/or their parents is completely missing the complexity of this societal problem and frankly is absurd beyond words. Still, this is exactly what many are doing, in their thinking, in their talking, and in their acting. And by “many” I don’t mean Government.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      Totally agree – the questions this report raise are important and deserve considerable attention.

      I'd suggest that there are two ways to get our response wrong – one is to blame everything on the 'bad choices' of the individual. The other, very common here, is to place all the blame on some ill-defined, non-falsifiable concept of 'systemic racism'.

      Both are crude simplifications at best, at worst they prevent real debate on what we might actually do to make a difference. It turns out that helping people is really hard – and yet we persist in pretending simplistic tropes will be of any use.

      People and cultures differ from each other in multiple complex dimensions which makes difference in outcomes inevitable. Even just determining what we can and should change is a challenging question.

      • Nic the NZer 10.1.1

        I was astounded by the crackpot thinking involved in accusing the NZ medical profession of systematic racism.

        The media discussion was of course careful to point out about 2.something years of the 7 year expected age disparity seemed to be due to smoking related health outcomes. I will focus on that as the issues with the conception of systematic are similar with the rest, but less obvious. Of note the 7 year headline disparity was not adjusted it was all the apparent failing of health professionals.

        Now smoking is known to be an individual choice with negative health outcomes which is more often practiced these days by NZ maori than other ethnicities. So in expecting health outcomes proportional to ethnic background being the definition of no systematic racism, we require actually much better health outcomes in NZ maori population. So much better in fact that the negative health outcomes of smoking are 100% negated (e.g maori have no negative health outcomes due to smoking, while other ethnicities do).

        This makes it apparent that the charge of systematic racism is not saying NZ health professionals are practicing racists, its just saying they don't perform medical miracles. This is a fundamentally stupid way to analyse NZs health system of course.

  11. SPC 11

    Micah the "shrink the conflict prophet" is the new good keen man Talmud court philosopher in the Bennett bookshop.

    It’s simply to govern the West Bank as if Palestinian lives do matter.

  12. Gezza 12

    The Taliban have rounded up dozens of Islamic State Khorasan fighters in Jalabad. A spokesman said this is an extension of a security operation currently being conducted in Kabul.

  13. Muttonbird 13

    Another sob-story article from National Party embedded journalist, Tracey Watkins.

    The narrative is always the same: 'We're not saying MIQ isn't necessary, it just needs to be perfect, now, so I can swan in and out as I please'.

    And, 'It's the fault of the majority of mean, xenophobic Kiwis who clearly don't know what's good for them'.

    And, 'To speak out is heresy'.

    Grow a pair, Tracey. Of course this is as insulting to Kiwis who have worked so hard over the last 18 months to protect the vulnerable as John Keys' PR release across all media today.–why-do-so-few-kiwis-care

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    Indonesia’s Vice President Ma’ruf Amin will visit New Zealand next week, the first here by an Indonesian leader since 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has announced. “New Zealand and Indonesia have a strong partnership,” Mr Peters says.  “The Vice President’s visit is an opportunity to discuss how we can strengthen ...
    1 week ago
  • Government boost to fight against caulerpa
    The battle to contain the fast-spreading exotic caulerpa seaweed has today received a $5 million boost to accelerate the development of removal techniques, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The time is now to really lean in and build on the work of Biosecurity New Zealand, mana whenua, communities and local ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister attending Australian data, digital meeting
    Minister for Digitising Government Judith Collins is in Sydney to attend the first Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting of 2024.  “This is a great opportunity to connect with our Australian counterparts and identify how we can work together on digital transformation,” Ms Collins says.   “Both our nations are looking into ...
    1 week ago
  • Appointments to Antarctica New Zealand Board
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appointed Leon Grice and Heather Simpson to serve on the Antarctica New Zealand board.  “Since taking office, the Coalition Government has become concerned about the direction of the Scott Base Redevelopment Project,” Mr Peters says.  “It is vital that Antarctica New Zealand has the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Strengthening the Single Economic Market
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis has met with Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers to discuss the opportunities to lower business costs and increase the ease with which businesses and people can operate across the Tasman.     “I have met with Treasurer Chalmers and shared our new Government’s ambitious economic goals, our plans ...
    1 week ago
  • Government to address business payment practices
    The Government will repeal the Business Payment Practices Act 2023, Small Business and Manufacturing Minister Andrew Bayly announced today. “There is a major problem with large market players imposing long payment terms and routinely paying invoices late. “However, the Business Payment Practices Act is not an effective solution and would ...
    1 week ago
  • Greater focus on work will reduce child poverty
    Worsening child poverty rates support the Coalition Government’s focus on reducing the cost of living and getting people into work, Child Poverty Reduction Minister Louise Upston says. Figures released by Stats NZ today show child poverty rates have increased, with the rising cost of living, driven by inflation, making it ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ announces new support for Ukraine
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by announcing further support and sanctions, and extending our military assistance. “Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter,” Mr Peters says. ...
    1 week ago

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