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Open mike 27/02/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 27th, 2022 - 53 comments
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53 comments on “Open mike 27/02/2022 ”

  1. weka 1

    For the forseeable future, please comment on the Convoy protest in one of the dedicated threads so we can keep Open Mike for other discussions.

    Convoy protest 27/2/22

    • weka 1.1

      Tony and PsyclingLeft, I've copy and pasted your comments across and deleted them from here, please use the dedicated posts from now on.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 1.1.1

        oh sorry bout that Weka. I was heading off to work and didnt see a Convoy one for today at that time. Early Sunday i know. Cheers.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    The uselessness of western political leaders has been on display again. Interestingly, the Ukraine president pointed to it a week ago. Their appeasement policy!

    Zelensky's closely watched address to the Munich Security Conference came just one day after President Biden warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin has made the decision to invade Ukraine, and that he plans to target Kyiv.

    Zelensky said:

    • "The security architecture of Europe and beyond is almost destroyed. It's too late now to talk about fixing it. It's high time for a new one," he continued.
    • "15 years ago, it was the Russian Federation that made a statement here challenging the global security order. How did the world respond? Appeasement."

    Zelensky went on to criticize NATO for claiming it has an "open-door" policy while refusing to let Ukraine in, and called for the alliance to provide a time frame for his country's eventual membership.

    • "Be honest about it. Open doors are good, but we need open answers. Not years and years of closed questions," Zelensky said. Ukraine will never be a "buffer" between Russia and the West, he added.
    • Zelensky also criticized the West for claiming that Putin has made the decision to invade, but not imposing sanctions until the attack has begun: "What are you waiting for? We don’t need sanctions after bombardment happens, after we have no borders, no economy. Why would we need those sanctions then?"

    The bottom line: "Ukraine is longing for peace. Europe is longing for peace. The world is saying it doesn’t want any war, while Russia is claiming she doesn’t want to intervene. Someone here is lying," Zelensky said, before receiving a standing ovation.


    Why did the US issue a formal statement to the world in 2008 that Ukraine would be joining NATO and then refuse to implement that? Putin objected, so the US caved to him. Appeasement became the norm.

    The thing to notice here is that collusion between the political left and right in all western countries has been evident ever since. There has been no dissent from appeasement. All the retards were dead keen to teach Putin that he could do whatever he wanted. So he learnt the intended lesson.

    • Andrew Miller 2.1


      Maybe as horrendous as this is for Ukraine that it proves to be the moment when appeasement finally ends.
      No serious person can pretend any longer that all Putin wants is ‘respect’ and that the problem is ‘baiting bear’ (as an aside, Comrade Trotter really has lost the plot well and truly).
      Putin’s played a divide and conquer game for years, sowing division in West and taking advantage of it.
      Maybe this prove a massive miscalculation on his part if its turns out to be the moment he’s finally made pariah and we stop the pretence of Russia being a normal nation capable of being part of all manner of normal international activities.
      It’s what the like of Kasparov has been calling for for years, that we had tools short of military one to genuinely hurt him, it just took commitment and solidarity on the grounds art of West.
      If Putin has pushed even China and Hungry too far, hopefully it’ll be easier to actually follow through on serious action.
      There is of course still the chance, someone blinks and let’s him off from feeling a real impact but weirdly I’m feeling a bit more positive that this could be turning point. I just hope I’m not being naïve.

    • alwyn 2.2

      You ask "Why did the US issue a formal statement to the world in 2008"?

      The only statement I am aware of is one by then President Bush and the two candidates in the 2008 election, Obama and McCain that they would offer backing to Ukraine's membership of NATO. The US can't just offer membership to anyone. NATO comprises 30 states and operates by consensus. It would appear to be Germany and France who opposed the proposal at that time.

      • Dennis Frank 2.2.1

        That's what I recalled from watching the interview with the professor I quoted from yesterday. According to Wikipedia it was the head of NATO who said Ukraine would be joining (not the US). Here's the key portions of their timeline:

        At the June 2021 Brussels Summit, NATO leaders reiterated the decision taken at the 2008 Bucharest Summit that Ukraine would become a member of the Alliance with the Membership Action Plan (MAP) as an integral part of the process and Ukraine's right to determine its own future and foreign policy, of course without outside interference. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also stressed that Russia will not be able to veto Ukraine's accession to NATO "as we will not return to the era of spheres of interest, when large countries decide what smaller ones should do."

        In March 2016, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker stated that it would take at least 20–25 years for Ukraine to join the EU and NATO.

        A typical bureaucratic stance. Bureaucrats assume everyone else is as slow to get anything done as them & lawyers.

        On 8 June 2017, Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada passed a law making integration with NATO a foreign policy priority. In July 2017 Poroshenko announced that he would seek the opening of negotiations on a Membership Action Plan with NATO. In that same month President Poroshenko began proposing a 'patronage system', tying individual regions with European States.

        On the 10th of March 2018, NATO added Ukraine in the list of NATO aspiring members (others including Bosnia and Herzegovina and Georgia). Several months later, in late June, Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada passed a National Security bill: the bill defines the principles of state policy on national security and defence as well as focusing on Ukraine's integration into the European security, economic and legal system; improvement in mutual relations with other states and eventual membership in EU and NATO.

        On September 20, 2018, the Ukrainian parliament approved amendments to the constitution that would make the accession of the country to NATO and the EU a central goal and the main foreign policy objective.

        On 7 February 2019, the Ukrainian parliament voted with a majority of 334 out of 385 to change the Ukrainian constitution in order to help Ukraine to join NATO and the European Union. After the vote, Ukrainian president Poroshenko declared: "This is the day when the movement of Ukraine to the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance will be consolidated in the Constitution as a foreign political landmark."


      • Andrew Miller 2.2.2

        This is true, but the appeasement applies to a lot more than just NATO membership and I don’t think anyone comes out looking too good.
        Germany have been pathetic regarding Russian gas, Britain has shamefully turned a blind eye over oligarchs money. One could go on and on.
        It’s all helped lead us to this point.

  3. Adrian Thornton 3

    Noam Chompsky on NATO expansion and the Ukraine….of course this part of the puzzle is never allowed even the slightest airing on any western media…wonder why that is?

    • Andrew Miller 3.1

      You can see a version of it any time you like on Fox, but then admitting similarities between the so called ‘anti imperialist’ left and US nationalist right on Putin and Russia is somewhat inconvenient isn’t it.

    • Andrew Miller 3.2

      I would love to see Chomsky sit down with someone from Baltic states and ask ‘Why is NATO expanding to the borders of Russia’ as they’d be able to give a simple answer as to why they were banging on the door, pleading to be let in.

      Chomsky fails to mention that Mearscheimer is a ‘neo realist’ who entire outlook is based on achieving ‘balance’ and if they meant letting dictator like Putin dominate ‘his’ region then that’s what we have to accept, regardless of what they means for the aspirations of the people in Eastern Europe.

      But then the cult of Chomsky just tends to take anything he says uncritically as the words of some great sage.

  4. Cricklewood 4

    Pretty good picture now how little vaccination does to slow Omicron transmission. We've got one of the worlds highest vax rates and currently the highest r value as well.

    • Anne 4.1

      The Government, the Ministry of Health and informed members of the public have known since Omicron was first identified that the current Covid vaccines were not effective against this new variant. Hence the booster injection campaign and the current race by the world's scientists to procure a vaccine that is effective. Pfizer has almost completed their trials and hopefully a new vaccine will be available very soon.

      The reason we have one of the world's highest vax rates at this point is because we tend to lag behind other countries, in large part due to our geographical isolation. So, no matter what the issue may be, we are always playing catch-up.

      In other words, most other countries have gone through the Omicron peak and are coming out the other side. We have yet to hit our peak, and in a few weeks time should be coming out the other side too.

      So, there is nothing sinister about the present stats – something you probably know only too well. 🙄

    • weka 4.2

      Bloomfield pointed this week to new studies showing vaccination gives meaningful protection against contracting omicron and thus slows spread. Details in this post

      Don’t give up New Zealand: omicron, vaccination protection, and why it’s the wrong time to ‘let it rip’

      • Cricklewood 4.2.1

        Sure, but given to slow Omicron a booster is needed, to have any chance of slowing it down… the mandates and passports had to be extended to boosters immediately. We cant boost fast enough now given it takes @ 14 days forna booster to take full effect.

        Hell we needed Rats ready to roll 3 weeks ago instead it's a 3 hour wait at my closest testing station plenty wont bother…

        • weka

          we are slowing omicron. With all the things we do. Imagine what it would be like if we did none of those things.

          Booster takes 14 days for full effect, but that doesn't mean there is no effect before day 14.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.3

      Oh I dunno. They say the R value of Omicron without any control is 10. We are around 3.5 while in the exponential growth phase, which is a huge reduction. Vaccination (especially recent boosting) will be an important part of that, given it is proven to greatly reduce transmission of omicron, which has been in the news lately. You might already know that. Ashley Bloomfield:

      "One of the studies, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that compared with being unvaccinated the odds of contracting Omicron after receiving three doses dropped by 67 percent – two thirds – and for Delta the risk declined by a stunning 93 percent."

  5. Muttonbird 5

    9:15am – In world COVID news, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has dramatically eased its COVID-19 guidelines for mask wearing.



    Total cases 80,575,587

    Total deaths 972,416

    Deaths/million 2910

    The CDC hasn't controlled or prevented much, have they?

    Just saying.

  6. Jenny how to get there 6

    If politics is concentrated economics, war is concentrated politics.

    War! Hey! What is it good for?


    Follow the money

    New York Times


    Natural Gas Shipments, Mostly From U.S., Ease Europe’s Energy Crunch



  7. The person who hosts https://www.sorryantivaxxer.com/post/station-break-vaxman-has-covid

    Got covid – but was fully vaxxed, so only had a mild illness.For 5 days (s)he lay in bed, while Russia invaded the Ukraine. (S)he made a pertinent comment:

    By the way, this is what ACTUAL tyranny looks like anti-vaxxers! It's not losing your job because you are afraid of a needle. It's having cluster bombs dropping on your head.

  8. DukeEll 8

    Can anyone point to one substantial achievement this achieved in either term in office?

    With covid now rampant and New Zealand having one of the highest R values in the world and testing crippled, this government has failed at covid.

    So all the policies that come out of covid are failures. Child poverty, suicide prevention, road tolls, homelessness, home building, mental health. All the grandiose promises and we’ve simply gone backwards on all major indicators.

    • Muttonbird 8.1

      Covid deaths/million:

      USA – 2910

      UK – 2355

      Sweden – 1677

      Australia – 197

      New Zealand – 11

      Quite an achievement.

      • dv 8.1.1

        AND cases per million

        USA. 241,000

        UK – 274,600

        Sweden – 239,300

        Australia – 122,900

        New Zealand –14,200

      • DukeEll 8.1.2

        Not really, not in the light of covid now running rampant and all the other policy failures that came before this

        • Barfly

          You seem desperate to attack this government – I would be unsurprised if you were hoping for thousands of NZ covid deaths as it seems the governments actions in saving thousands of lives appears to greatly upset you broken heart

          • DukeEll

            So no other achievement than not letting covid in or flourish, except that it is now

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              "Not letting covid in or flourish" was good, and all things (good and bad) end.

              It's regrettable many businesses have suffered a downturn or worse during this on-going pandemic, but even if our Govt had prioritised businesses from the get-go I wouldn't have spent up big, and surging Omicron cases numbers guarantee that I'll be prioritising public and personal health a little longer.

              An exploration of the political, social, economic and cultural factors affecting how different global regions initially reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic [11 February 2022]

              During the first wave of the pandemic (February–July 2020), it is now well-recognized that some countries and jurisdictions in the East (Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong) and Southeast (Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore) Asia, and Australasia (Australia, New Zealand) reacted more quickly, comprehensively, and effectively than Western European countries and the Americas.

              2.1. Australasia
              Government trust: generally high
              Testing capacity: initially limited, but rapidly increased
              Track/Isolation/Quarantine: rapid expansion of capacity, strongly enforced
              Compliance with social distancing restrictions: high to very high
              Masking: not initially universally mandated
              Effectiveness of SARS-CoV-2 control: very good to excellent

              For example, the UK, Denmark, France, Germany and Sweden only compensated employees for hours that were no longer worked (capped by either a fraction of their total wages or a maximum payment limit). Elsewhere (Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada and the USA), all employees were given a wage subsidy if their businesses had suffered a major loss of turnover (ranging over 15–50%) during the pandemic.

              Some of us still don't get how lucky we are (and were) – the "are we there yet" crowd, agitating for a return to mask-less and 'pass-less' BAU, are intent on undermining the measures safeguarding public health, but the more united we are against COVID-19, the faster we all get through this, imho.

        • Andrew Miller

          What exactly is your point, that our case rate or death will catch up with the US or UK?

          Because if it’s not (and there’s no credible evidence to suggest it will) then we’re still doing waaaay better than most other countries.

          • Peter

            It's so good the approach in handling covid in this country was such that I did not die.

            Now I can spend my time whingeing about how bad everything is.

      • Jenny how to get there 8.1.3


    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2

      NSW deaths per week from Covid are 163- peaked at 240pw ( we are 63% of that states population)

      NZ deaths per week from Covid , maybe under 10 currently

    • Patricia Bremner 8.3

      no Not correct. Duke Ell. But you know that!!

    • Incognito 8.4

      So all the policies that come out of covid are failures. Child poverty, suicide prevention, road tolls, homelessness, home building, mental health. All the grandiose promises and we’ve simply gone backwards on all major indicators.

      You made quite a few bold assertions without any support to back them up. Usually, this calls for moderation.

      Let me start this off with this on child poverty: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/127873784/child-poverty-tracks-down-but-government-doesnt-meet-key-target.

      Now it‘s your turn to provide evidence for your assertions. Your entire comment comes across as a troll attempt at wasting people’s time in order to achieve some lazy political point scoring. However, you’ve been caught out before making up lies and other BS, e.g. https://thestandard.org.nz/everyone-is-over-covid/#comment-1866535.

      PS I believe unemployment is down and at a record low.

      • gsays 8.4.1

        "PS I believe unemployment is down and at a record low."

        Do you accept that not everyone that find themselves out of their callings, jobs and careers are reflected in employment stats?

        There are more non-travelling reserves, in Jacinda's team of 5 million than you acknowledge.

        (Fun Fact: I wanted to make a reference to 1st XI or XV, but found Roman numerals only go up to 4,999, or it can be referenced as a V with two horizontal lines above it. Then it got hard and …)

        • Incognito

          Sure, I accept that. Unemployment is (also) not the same as underemployment. Anyway, any real or perceived achievement by Government can be countered and eroded to a failure if one sets their (biased-partisan) mind to it, which is what some commenters here know all too well. Hence my reply to DukeEll and before I put my Moderator hat on.

  9. Sanctuary 9

    Some general principles to consider when looking at reporting of the war in the Ukraine, prompted by my re-reading Jon Sumida's "Decoding Clausewitz: A New Approach to On War" (2008) to try help work out what is going there.

    Sumida says of Clauswitz: (worth quoting at length) –

    "…In a war in which the objective of the attacker is the destruction of the defender’s sovereignty, the difficulties for the attacker are increased by the inherently greater strength of the defender’s political, or policy, motive. This is because the moral stakes for the defender are about existence, which is essential, whereas the attacker is concerned simply with gain, which is discretionary. Moreover, the resources available to the defense for military action can overmatch those of the attacker if the defender government’s will to resist enjoys broad internal political support. Under these circumstances, the regular forces of the defender can be augmented by the armed action of an aroused citizenry—that is, by guerrilla war—while the attacker cannot count on counterbalancing involvement from its own civilian population. A defender that has demonstrated a determination to resist even a greatly superior attacker can also expect the assistance of other powers, which are likely to recognize that their own independence is threatened by the offensive success of a state with aggrandizing or even hegemonic intentions. In short, effective defense against attack is not just about military action, but the interplay between military performance and a variety of internal and external political dynamics. This is probably what Clausewitz had foremost in mind when he stated that “war is simply a continuation of political intercourse, with the addition of other means…”

    From this, we can also call into question the traditional definition of victory as being the battlefield destruction of the defenders armies, since guerilla warfare is also as much a continuation of political intercourse as a full scale conventional war.

    The other thing I've been considering is I've just finished reading David Stahel's four books on the first six months of Barbarossa in conjunction with Glantz's older trilogy on the Smolensk battles of 1941 and I am struck by the similarities of this Russian army with very poor performance of the Red Army between June and November 1941. It seems to me Putin's truncated military harks back more to the Winter War than to Operation Bagration.

    So far we read the Russians have commtted initially around a third of their combat units to action. That would be around 40,000 men of a manoeuvre force (not counting support units) of about 120,000. Now, if reports of 3-4000 Russian KIA (plus that implies at least 10,000 WIA) are true that would indicate that most of the Russian first wave is now incapable of further offensive operations (generally speaking 25% losses will do this) so if the Ukranian claims are true simple maths tells us the Russians must now be committing their second wave, probably designated for an exploitation phase, to try and secure first wave objectives. Clauswitz of course noted the need for strong reserves if an offensive is to maintain it's impetus after the initial attritional phase so if it passes that the Ukranians have forced the early commitment of the exploitation units then they are still in with a chance.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 9.1

      None of the above is based on any reality. You have just plucked numbers out of thin air

      Just as 'likely' is an Ukrainian armistice when Zeleneskyy does an' Ashraf Ghani'. I have no evidence of that either but Im guessing hes already in Lviv – to continue the fight of course( just as Churchill made sure to leave London for the country as often as possible during the Blitz)

      • alwyn 9.1.1

        Perhaps you are right. On the other hand you are probably wrong.

        The Economist posted this comment, and included a link to the video mentioned.

        "ON THE MORNING of February 26th Volodymyr Zelensky posted a video of himself on Twitter. After a night of the worst fighting Kyiv had seen since the second world war, and of propaganda from Moscow claiming that he had fled the capital in fear, Ukraine’s president emerged from his office red-eyed and unshaven. He was holding a smartphone in his right hand as he filmed himself walking past the House with Chimaeras, a famous Kyiv landmark that serves as the presidential residence. He smiled at the camera and declared: “Good morning to all Ukrainians! There are a lot of fakes out there…[but] I am here.”


        I'm afraid you can't read the full story. That requires that you are a subscriber to the magazine. However the time referred to is only about 12 hours before you posted your comment so I don't think he has fled.

  10. logie97 10

    On the 24th on OM Jenny posted an article from Stuff profiling an electric ute. Part of the thrust of her comment appeared to be aimed at the Politically motivated Groundswell group and how hard done by they are and their spurious arguments for joining the "Freedom Protest".

    There were several commenters who decided to comment on the qualities of the two wheel drive and dismissed the ute as varying degrees of rubbish.

    Their arguments appeared to be based on the grunty 4 wheel drives. One suggesting they were the minimum spec for every builder. Ad apparently has several thousand of them.

    So one wonders why Nissan, Toyota, Ford, Mitsubishi and others would bother producing 2 wheel drive versions of their utes or what market they are targeting with all of their models.

  11. The Chairman 11

    Electricity users on low-usage plans told their daily fixed charges are doubling

    The doubling of the daily charge stems from a decision by Energy Minister Megan Woods in September to phase out the requirement for power companies to offer low-user tariffs

    Woods’ expectation has been that power companies would use the extra revenues to apply an equivalent reduction in charges paid by households that use more power, meaning consumers overall would be no better or worse off on average as a result of the change despite there being winners and losers.

    However, the Government did not seek a guarantee from power companies that tariff changes would cancel out on aggregate.


    Will Labour now increase and extend (to all year round) The Winter Energy Payment for beneficiaries and low income earners facing the doubling in cost?

    And if not why not?

    Are the poor meant to carry this burden?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 11.1

      The Daily charge rises but the high users pay LESS per kWhr

      eg Mercury has 18.8c per kWh for all users from April which is much lower than my low user rate from April 23.84c/32.9 c kWh

      • The Chairman 11.1.1

        Mercury says electricity and gas prices vary from region to region, and sometimes from home to home.

        So while the doubling cost may not impact you personally, I'm asking what is going to be done for the poor that are impacted by this doubling in cost?

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          You didnt understand did you.

          Daily charge up . The charge for power used is down.

          The reasons for changing which does impact me is that 'the poor' which you are so concerned about dont benefit so much as they have older homes and larger families which use above the low user maximum

          My power compnay says it will mean $38 more per year in lines charges

          • The Chairman

            Daily charge up . The charge for power used is down.

            Again, whether that will totally offset the increase will vary from region to region, and sometimes from home to home. Additionally, the change means power companies will be able to raise the daily charge by a further 34.5c a day, including GST next year, and again in 2024 and 2025.

            The reasons for changing which does impact me is that 'the poor' which you are so concerned about dont benefit so much as they have older homes and larger families which use above the low user maximum.

            Yes, we know the reasoning. However, the Government failed to secure a guarantee from power companies that tariff changes would cancel out on aggregate.

            Moreover, the doubling in cost will still impact the poor currently on the lower use charge. Not all poor people have large families and stay in larger homes.

            What is Labour going to do for them?

            Are they going to just let them carry the full burden?

            • ghostwhowalksnz

              Minimum wage up from $15.75 which was Nationals end point to $21.20 in April this year

              Thats a 35% increase . benefits have also risen and a 'winter' benefit rise as well.

              A friend on unemployment benefit has seen it rise from $212 to $278 before this years cost of living increase and excluding winter bump.

              • The Chairman

                Too little too late.

                The current living wage is $22.75 and is due to increase in September.

                In 2019 the welfare expert advisory group recommended benefit levels be increased by up to 47 percent immediately.

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