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Open mike 27/10/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 27th, 2021 - 121 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 …

121 comments on “Open mike 27/10/2021 ”

  1. garibaldi 1

    If all the rumours about the role of drug suppliers, gang connections etc in spreading covid around the Waikato are true, then surely the police must be getting some "handy" information ?

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Revival of the class system is timely, and surviving Marxists will be exhilarated.

    "Most Kiwis don't want to see a two-class system and social disharmony, and this week I'll be demanding answers for those Kiwis … urging the prime minister not to cause division and urgently ensure that any rights her government continues to breach are done so out of the utmost urgency and that there is in fact an end in sight for this." Collins was repeatedly asked who those two classes were, but she would only refer to reports quoting Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as saying the traffic light plan would create a two-tier system.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/454267/collins-denounces-two-class-system-but-won-t-rule-out-vaccine-certificates

    Yet the leader of the opposition failed to specify how many classes she wanted. You can't be successful as a politician if you can't spot a golden opportunity to set the agenda. Obviously she knew two classes is insufficient but felt intellectually challenged when confronted by the journalist seeking clarification.

    Anyway it's also a golden opportunity for a capitalist to manufacture plastic buttons that read Citizen First Class for the double-jabbed. You'd sell at least a million fast, no problem. Creating a line of product with the single word Privileged could also be a trendy goer. Plenty of folks, having spent their entire lives thus far not being privileged, would buy in.

    Separate development is an unusual ideology for Labour to be promoting and comparisons to apartheid may become a thing. However exclusionary oppression of antivaxers is at this stage merely in the preliminary stage of development as a political strategy – notwithstanding rabble-rousing Maori at the southern & northern Auckland borders currently, trying to invade. Wait awhile until the thing festers…

    • I Feel Love 2.1

      Any comparison to apartheid, or the Holocaust, is just offensive & disrespectful. Also, bollocks.

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        Very true. Labour's separatism can't be seen as skin-based, no matter which angle you view it from. Nor can it be seen as ethnicity-based. It's genuinely innovative.

        However, human nature tends to persist and we can expect unsavoury analogies to be circulated by unsavoury folk, eh? Analogic thinking is hard-wired.

        • I Feel Love 2.1.1.1

          Well it would be analogous if the European Jews & or SA Blacks had a choice, but they didn't.

          We've had the poor as 2nd/3rd class citizens for years, restricted from getting the utmost out of this country. In fact the Nats/RW believe being poor is a choice.

          So analogous? Bollocks.

    • Ad 2.2

      The unvaccinated are an ever-decreasing margin – currently it's big because it's 1 in 10 New Zealanders or around 400,000 people.

      I think we are going so well that we will be 95%+ vaccinated for the 1.8m people in the Auckland region, 95%+ in Wellington, Canterbury and Otago.

      So I think there's a good shot at bringing the unvaccinated eligible down to 150,000.

      After that, sure, there's the social force of the traffic light system.

      • Patricia Bremner 2.2.1

        yes Agreed.

      • Bearded Git 2.2.2

        While your figures are right (I make it about 140k more to get to 90%) at this point in time, there are still around 560k people over 12 not vaccinated at all today with the number of daily vaxxes now dropping to low levels. I reckon it will be 5-6 weeks to get to the TLS.

        Then there are roughly 900k under 12 not vaxxed. The sooner a vaxx comes through for the 5-12 year olds the better because with well over a million people unvaxxed when the TLS comes in Covid is going to sweep through NZ as it has in Singapore and Ireland despite high vaxx rates.

        (All of the above according to NZH figures at 25/10.)

        • Tricledrown 2.2.2.1

          The holiday on the weekend would have explained lower number's generally last week over 40,000 vaccines a day.

      • GreenBus 2.2.3

        60% total pop 2nd dose.

        71% eligible pop 2nd dose.

        This must mean 11% won't be vaxxed before the traffic lights turned on.

        Add the AV say 5-10% ??

        Doesn't add up to 90% vaxxed. Delta get ready, GO.

        A pig with lipstick, this situation sucks.

    • Ngungukai 2.3

      The Nutter's are all coming out of the Woodwork.

    • roblogic 2.4

      🤣 🤣 🤣

  3. Patricia Bremner 3

    There are 2/5%* who are contrarians or crooks. For some Rules are made to be broken. Sadly Rotorua has a large number of unvaccinated, possibly in this march. Those in Auckland do not need this, but “Social disharmony” was here before this government.

  4. Molly 4

    Yesterday, as part of Intersex Awareness Day the Herald put up this article:

    Intersex children in New Zealand are routinely undergoing unnecessary surgery – that needs to change

    No data, except the disparaged figure of occurrence of 1.7 to 4%.

    Looking further, I came across this essay outlining the difficulties of collating or finding accurate research on those with DSD (Differences of Sex Development).

    It's worth a comparative read:

    The Invention of Intersex

    As someone born with Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, I had until recently felt fairly neutral about the term Intersex as I could see its value as a political label and as a way of understanding the bodies of those of us living with complex variations of sex development – and I have found it amazing to see young activists embracing and celebrating their bodily differences under an intersex flag…

    …I do not mean this essay to be a criticism of people using the term intersex to describe themselves, however, I am critical of using intersex to describe babies and children, who do not have a choice…

    On Intersex Awareness Day, I want to start with what has sadly become a controversial statement.

    I want to support ALL people born with variations or differences of sex development (DSD) and not only those who choose to identify as intersex. I want to ensure that all children born with differences in their sex or reproductive development, get the family, psychological and peer support they need, to make informed choices about their healthcare. Most importantly, I want them to have access to accurate and precise information about their bodies and to have the opportunity to meet other young people who share their experience.

    For this to be possible, there needs to be activism, advocacy and academic research that is truly inclusive and centres the children and families most in need of support – and listens to a diverse range of voices and not only to adults who identify as intersex…

    Choice of terminology

    Academics from the social sciences, overwhelmingly use the term intersex, even though it has the potential to exclude many people born with variations of sex development, who only use DSD or condition specific language. The choice of language is often justified by the preference of activists – although sometimes misleading statistics are also used…

    Intersex surgeries

    Currently, the main issue discussed by intersex activists and academics, is the banning of early genital surgery. However, this has not been accompanied by a call for expert psychosocial services to offer family and peer support. Surgical interventions are also frequently discussed in the most crass and inaccurate ways, which has led to an increasingly simplistic and potentially stigmatising understanding of the complex issues involved, as highlighted by the recent comments by Eric Weinstein, that stated:

    “intersex babies unfairly subjected to white coated physicians playing god with random irreversible sex changing surgeries without a scientific basis”…

    It is also rarely acknowledged, that when people are talking about intersex surgeries, they are overwhelmingly referring to surgery for hypospadias https://www.hypospadiasuk.co.uk/ and CAH https://www.livingwithcah.com/about/

    For both CAH and hypospadias, there are good evidence-based reasons for taking a watch and wait approach, until a young person can decide for themselves, if there is no medical need – and at dsdfamilies we support many parents who have made the decision to raise their child without surgery. However, by using the term ‘intersex surgeries’, there is little attempt to engage with patient groups for either CAH or hypospadias, who rarely use and frequently reject this terminology. Describing these surgeries as ‘intersex surgeries’ has also allowed hospitals to announce they are stopping intersex surgeries, whilst claiming that hypospadias and CAH have nothing to do with intersex.

    Why does this matter?

    This all comes back to needs – and the needs of the 0.05% being misrepresented or even erased. The most complex and rare cases from the 0.02% are presented as if applicable to the 1.7% or even 4% – but then the lowest need cases from the 4% are presented as if applying to the 0.02%. …

    She then goes on to list the many valid reasons why accuracy in data and reporting matters, and the negative impacts of the current situation:

    • Increased stigma,
    • Increased risk of surgical interventions,
    • Loss of privacy,
    • Funding,
    • Finding accurate information about your body and health needs
    • Becoming a meme
    • Lack of cultural sensitivity
    • Misinformation within schools
    • Misinformation within institutions
    • Failure to prioritise the needs of the most marginalised and vulnerable

    The article is well researched and referenced and provides valuable information missing from the Herald piece.

    • Anker 4.1

      Our msm are not doing a good job of covering this and the related issues.

      Thanks for posting Molly

  5. The Nutter's are all coming out of the Woodwork.

  6. They must all have COVID Fever could be another Ngapuhi vs Te Arawa Skirmish at Te Hana.

  7. Ad 7

    Are the protesters at the Auckland border actual Undead?

  8. gsays 8

    Thank-you Joe Bennett.

    A touch of sorely needed levity.

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/opinion/126786091/a-bit-safer-but-is-it-an-improvement-on-the-whale#comments

    "The Whale had a rearview mirror that I didn’t use when reversing. The new car has a reversing camera that I don’t use when reversing, either. It still goes against the grain to look forward when travelling backward."

    • Descendant Of Smith 9.1

      Nah councils had a good opportunity to explain how they would meet their infrastructure costs going forward.

      Few, if any, have been able to do so. Most have focussed on the loss of their assets – assets they have not maintained for many years and for which their ratepayers are going to have to put up with either failing infrastructure or large rate increases.

      It isn't entirely the councils fault they are in this position – the years of selling off income producing assets that they used to own has been part of the problem. When you end up with pretty much only one income stream e.g. rate payers you are pretty much shot. User pays has always sucked except for the wealthy and will always lead us down this road.

      Regional Councils selling off their leasehold land is resulting in regional rates increases as well with the continuing neglect of regional waterways.

      The irony has always been that the right always say that councils should just be responsible for water, rubbish and roads etc but when they get elected push stuff like tourism, motor racing, sports stadiums, yacht races, etc. Stuff that generates money for the private sector vested interests.

      • Gypsy 9.1.1

        The irony with you comment is that all 3 Waters does is shift the cost from ratepayers to taxpayers.

        • roblogic 9.1.1.1

          Cost?! Water is a taonga to be protected. Not a resource for the capitalist machine.

          Proverbs 23:6

          Don’t eat with people who are stingy;

          don’t desire their delicacies.

          They are always thinking about how much it costs.

          • Gypsy 9.1.1.1.1

            Tell that to Nanaia Mahuta. One of the main reasons she's giving for reform is the increasing costs associated with water delivery.

            • Sabine 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Don't you feel confident that you will have enough money to afford water in the future?

              And once all that infrastructure is owned by government which government will sell it to private interests in the future to minimise costs to the taxpayer?

              • Gypsy

                Good questions. As to the first, ratepayers are currently funding world class water facilities in all but a few regions. Why not give councils the opportunity to amalgamate resources democratically if there is a good case?

                • Sabine

                  Because we the rate payer already paid for it, so this is the cheapest water infrastructure the government can steal from the commons.

                  Don't expect any refunds, discounts on your three liter daily allocation.

                  • roblogic

                    Crazy rhetoric. How can the Government "steal" something that is already public property? Is Nanaia Mahuta going to sneak around at night with a digger stealing the pipes?

                    It's a huge investment in the future; the mismanaged Councils are embarrassed and trying to save face by making idiotic claims of ownership like it's their personal fiefdom.

                    Just goes to show how many munters like the anti-vax lady from Coromandel weasel their way into local government.

                    • Sabine

                      The infrastructure that councils paid for IS the property of that Council. Now the times may be changing, and water shortages as much as water allocations will be a thing of the future, and i can see how a government might want to consolidate assets to a. borrow against them, b. distribute the goods that these assets create and maintain – water in this case. But the reason the government is executing the tour of 'debate/information/please acquiesce/its for the better of all ' or what ever they call it, they want the assets, and these assets are not theirs but they will take them, with or without the approval of any of these councils. But its ok, it is Labour doing, not National. 🙂

      • s y d 9.1.2

        funding, funding, funding.

        So to continue with unsustainable growth, we must bundle up assets, to enable us to borrow against the asset, pass on the costs to future generations, and continue the 'growth is good' mantra.

        It's a joke. There are always other means to fund upkeep of assets.

      • Patricia Bremner 9.1.3

        yes So True!! DOS, Ratepayers were facing huge costs. Almost all the piping needs renewal. In Australia the pipes put in are huge compared to here. They plan for population growth, in NZ it has been constant catch up. To buld more houses we need better infrastructure fast tracked, not piecemeal efforts of often incompetent Councils. For climate change problems drainage will be critical.

    • roblogic 9.2

      You mean blue babies in Ashburton, people poisoned in Hastings, and greedy pilfering of all the water by the irrigators in Canterbury? Or the mega stuff-ups by WaterCare and failure to invest in water security leading to years of shortages and trees dying in backyards across Auckland.

      Local councils have proven over and over again they are not competent to manage water. Not like it's essential for life or anything?!

  9. coreyjhumm 10

    The three waters legislation doesn't come into effect till 2024 so labour just made the 2023 election a referendum on three waters, which noone wants or likes….

    My biggest issues are it's an unelected board in one of the most centralized governments in the world. Why can't locals elect the people who make decisions on water? I'd almost say we should have a parliament or upper house thats duty is natural resources and water and environment issues.

    Seriously what do a bunch of party bootlickers (from whatever party is in power) and civil servants in wellington know about the day to day water issues in gore or Whangarei??? Why should councils who have spent billions and have large populations get treated the same and have the same representation as small towns?

    Locals who use and drink and need the water should be able to elect representation to make decisions on water not wellington govts making decisions for locals.

    At the very least central govt should pay out the individual councils dollar for dollar what the infrastructure are worth and buy it off them individually.

    We need more democracy not less. Stuff like this makes me want provincial govts like Canada or at the very least an upper house.

    This is just nationalizing water so the next govt can run on overturning the legislation and then easily sell it out cos theres now no local, regional or provincial resistance.

    Wellington doesn't know better than the locals what's going on with their water. This smug we know best attitude from wellington is disgusting.

    Atleast with councils we can hold them to account and vote them out if they screw up our water, here we have to hope elected govts pick decent people and hope they listen because if they don't listen, which Wellington bureaucrats never do, people could get sick.

    I'm all for amalgamating the health service but water…. Na. Local water decisions made by locals for locals

    • roblogic 10.1

      Good luck getting councils to stump up the $120 to $185 billion needed to fix and upgrade and invest in the future.

      Better water is better for everyone – Three Waters Reform Programme

    • georgecom 10.2

      my preference would be to provide the framework for regional conglomerations worked out by local councils, perhaps with some 'incentive' to get involved. An example being the ETS with the farming community, develop their own system and if they fail to do so they enter the ETS. I could see in my region the greater Waikato sharing resources and infrastructure, economies of scale, a regionally developed system that works for the region. If a council feels it can go it alone then they have that option. Two caveats, no water metering and no privatisation.

      As for the transfer of asset argument, that doesn't stack up for me. sure some infrastructure would transfer to another entity, so would liabilities to maintain and renew such. I cannot see a local council being bereft with water infrastructure being handed on, they also hand on the costs to the new entity. If councils want financial compensation, do they also want to pay for future financial liabilities?

    • bwaghorn 10.3

      How many people bother voting in council elections in hick town nz ?

      Not enough to insure that councillors that can do the job are elected,, is how many.

  10. garibaldi 11

    This 3 waters is another nail in Labours coffin. Prize ammo for the Right.

    • roblogic 11.1

      I feel sorry for all the kids growing up in NZ today who can't go swimming in a lake or stream, or even an Auckland beach, without danger of being poisoned by runoff and sewage.

      BAU is not good enough.

    • Robert Guyton 11.2

      Nanaia has the perfect pitch to the public – wanna pay huge rates for your water? Support your local council!!

      • Sabine 11.2.1

        lol, pay huge taxes instead!

        cause in the end someone will have to pay for it, and it will be us.

        • Nordy 11.2.1.1

          LOL if you think the rating base vs taxation base, the ability to raise capital at good rates etc are the same for councils as for the govt. That doesn't even get into the reality of 'local democracy ' vs govt standards, and the theory vs reality of the accountability that exists.

          • Gypsy 11.2.1.1.1

            In the end, we pay. Simple. But under 3Waters the decision making is shifted further from those paying, with no guarantee the solutions will be any better.

          • Sabine 11.2.1.1.2

            we paid as ratepayers for the infrastructure that we have and we will pay as taxpayers. The only ones not paying for any of this are those in a high enough income category that allows them to very much legally avoid paying taxes altogether.

            which one are you? Rich enough to not pay taxes or just a simply user hoping to have enough money still say in ten to twenty years time to afford the three liters of water you should consume per day, plus flushing the toilet once a day?

  11. Sabine 12

    BBC has learned that lesbians like other lesbians, and gasp, don't want to sex with lesbians that come equipped with a penis, or don't want to be gaslit into having sex with a lesbian penis, or worse even want to be raped by a lesbian penis.. OH my gosh, the sky is falling on all of our heads!

    "I've had someone saying they would rather kill me than Hitler," says 24-year-old Jennie*.

    "They said they would strangle me with a belt if they were in a room with me and Hitler. That was so bizarrely violent, just because I won't have sex with trans women."

    Jennie is a lesbian woman. She says she is only sexually attracted to women who are biologically female and have vaginas. She therefore only has sex and relationships with women who are biologically female.

    Jennie doesn't think this should be controversial, but not everyone agrees. She has been described as transphobic, a genital fetishist, a pervert and a "terf" – a trans exclusionary radical feminist.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-57853385

    But really who would believe that in the 21 century Men are still upset that Lesbians like other Lesbians, and may not consider Transwomen as lesbians.

    And who would believe that in the 21 century we still need to explain to people that yes, we all have a genital preference, and some like penis, and others like vagina and some like both, and no one needs to fuck anyone simply because they exist.

    • Molly 12.1

      Loudoun County Schools update from the US. Criminal charges of sexual assault upheld.

      Mealy mouthed apology from superintendent, who also asked prosecutors to charge the father of one of the victims with a charge that would give him jail time, when he disrupted the board meeting after he said no assault had occurred.

      Loudon County School Officials have already apologized for stating there were no sexual assaults in bathrooms at a June school board meeting. Superintendent Scott Zeigler said he misinterpreted the questions.

      Students stage a walkout at one of the boards schools on learning of the conviction.

      Apology-non-apology statement on the Loudon County School website. No mention of the request for the arrest and charging of the father of one of the victims when he became enraged after they denied that his daughter had been assaulted (sodomised) in the school.

      Lastly, I want to speak to my comments at the June 22nd board meeting related to bathrooms. Board Member Barts asked a question about discipline incidents in the bathrooms that I wrongly interpreted as incidents involving transgender and gender-fluid students. I did this because I was viewing the question in light of the general questions and debate around policy 8040 that was occurring at the time. Multiple board members asked questions about the process, the experiences of students, and plans for transgender students and bathroom use during that discussion. My mindset was in line with that subject. At another point in that conversation, Chair Sheridan asked a question specifically about incidents involving transgender students, and I responded in the same manner. I regret that my comments were misleading and I apologize for the distress that error caused families. I should have asked Board Member Barts clarifying questions to get to the root of her question, rather than assuming what she meant. I will do better in the future.

      This is not an adequate apology, especially for the father who was arrested by police, labelled a 'domestic terrorist' by the National School Boards Administration (NSBA), was knowingly lied to, and branded as a criminal.

      • Sabine 12.1.1

        this boy will face up to 25 years if convicted as an aldult, and considering that he is over 14 chances are that he will be tried as an adult and thus that makes his two counts of sodomy on his first victime a crime with a minor.

        The thing is that this boy was set up to fail (in a skirt no less) by his parents, his school, and everyone around him who believes that boundaries are discriminatory, and that yes, indeed, boys should be allowed into all and any previously single sex spaces for girls and women.

        there are three children that were harmed, two girls and one boy.

      • Anker 12.1.2

        Thanks for posting Molly. I recall being told on this website that there had been no such problems in the US with Trans sexually assaulting women in toilets. All safe ladies, nothing to see here.

        Have just heard about Laken McKay a transwomen who has HIV and a long history of sexually assaulting and raping children (suggesting they still have a penis)and when released from prison went to work as a prostitue, so who knows how many men were infected with HIV. Maybe if men realize the are in danger, they will wake up.

        I would have thought men with daughters would be feeling very angry about this stuff.

        Thanks Pukish Rogue for getting it. Its appreciated.

    • Molly 12.2

      Women speaking about their experiences of sexual coercion and actual rape not being listened to or believed?

      Who would've thought it?

    • Molly 12.3

      No information – apart from the end.

      Just sent for the smiles…

    • roblogic 12.4

      trans identified males claiming to be female don't want to date each other, instead they harass lesbians? it's almost like biological sex is real or something.

      • Sabine 12.4.1

        well that is the issue is it not, either they need to find a heterosexual women who is happy Larping a lesbian or they need to find a lesbian who likes penis, or maybe someone who is bisexual, or a transman. But then that is not what they want. And hte only thing that matters is what they want, and all others are transphobic, bigots, or well witches maybe?

        • weka 12.4.1.1

          I agree. There are plenty of bisexual women around, why go after lesbians?

          I really wish we had a good way to talk about the subset of trans women who are doing this (and trans allies). Talking about AGP TW is fraught, but this cotton ceiling and coercion shit is just outright damaging.

        • Anker 12.4.1.2

          Certainly transphobic Sabine of lesbians not wanting sex with someone with a penis and highly likely to be a terf (sarc)

      • Anker 12.4.2

        Yes I would imagine some of the gay politicians who are supporting the propsed bills, might react in a "transphobic" way when they. find they are expected to be same gender attracted rather than same sex. That could be the point at whih they wake up.

    • francesca 12.5

      But it seems lesbians are not allowed to have a deeply felt innate sense of their own sexual preference and who they are

  12. Stephen D 13

    Watching todays presser.

    OMG Barry Soper is a dick.

  13. greywarshark 14

    Australia's Mulloon Institute on critical soil carbon sequestration::

    <i>The renowned Mulloon Institute says the Prime Minister’s plan to include Soil Carbon Sequestration in the 2050 Carbon Neutral roadmap is a critical element to reducing emissions and reducing the impact of global warming.

    Chairman of the Institute, Gary Nairn AO, says soils hold three times more carbon than the atmosphere so has huge potential, through photosynthesis, to sequester (draw down) carbon, “Globally, soils contain more carbon than plants and the atmosphere combined. The solution therefore is literally right under our feet – soil and soil carbon sequestration – Australia has an abundance of soil, and soil that has been depleted of carbon over the past two centuries. The opportunity is now there to transfer it from the atmosphere and put it back where it belongs, in the soil.”</i>

    and

    https://www.farmonline.com.au/story/7485392/agricultural-carbon-sinks-at-heart-of-2050-net-zero-plan/

    https://rainwaterrunoff.com/fibershed/ (California)

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJO2-cazY1Y

  14. Dennis Frank 15

    Gordon Campbell: "One wonders whether New Zealand can find ways to express its “tangible practical” support for a rules-based system of international law that don’t involve sending in a gunboat."

    Ratchet that count up to two, because I also wonder the same!

    one of our frigates recently joined a Carrier Strike show of force in the South China Sea, en route to a joint military exercise in Singapore with our traditional allies, called BersamaGold21… Lieutenant General Greg Bilton, Chief of Joint Operations, outlined how the training was vital in building regional resilience… "When our five nations come together we strengthen cooperation, deepen our inter-operability and sustain professional links,” LTGEN Bilton said.

    Well okay, solidarity in strength does make sense, and honing operational precision likewise. But does it really make sense to do it in the South China Sea?? Is such posturing effective diplomacy? If the rationale is to communicate with the communist regime in China in the only language they seem to understand, perhaps so.

    "Improving warfighting capability – not affirming the tenets of international law" is presented by old leftie Gordon as the dichotomy of choice. I suspect he has failed to google tenets of international law. If you do, you find they are conspicuous by their absence. Sure, there are plenty of sites purporting to focus on principles of same, and the logical equation principle = tenet seems to apply, yet if you hunt for a list on those sites you don't find any. If you resort to hunting for specified principles, likewise! The topic is clearly deemed so ephemeral by website writers that a cloud of irrelevant verbiage is consistently deployed to hide the truth.

    So wargames win by default. Leftists adrift in their personal dreamworld can issue suggestions consistent with half a century of delusional thinking but the players of the geopolitical power game will continue to wait for a positive alternative to show up.

    http://werewolf.co.nz/2021/10/gordon-campbell-on-why-new-zealand-needs-to-change-its-defence-habits/

    However, ole Gordy scores a bullseye here:

    Even on its own terms – having our frigate join an aggregation of force – seems like an antiquated military idea as well. And it isn’t just me – or some other peacenik – saying so. It also seems to be the opinion of the Vice-Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John Hyten. In July, Hyten voiced his misgivings about the wisdom of old school aggregated force tactics, based on the results of a major wargaming exercise conducted by the US military in October 2020:

    A brutal loss in a wargaming exercise last October convinced the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. John Hyten to scrap joint warfighting concepts that had guided U.S. military operations for decades. “Without overstating the issue, it failed miserably. An aggressive red team that had been studying the United States for the last 20 years just ran rings around us. They knew exactly what we’re going to do before we did it…. ”

    Interestingly, this crushing loss was incurred in the context of a simulated aggression by China.

    I'd like to see innovative diplomacy used in geopolitics. The establishment is congenitally inept at innovation, of course. If you suggested trainee diplomats get taught lateral-thinking, you'd be told that's an innate ability few folk are born with, and govt hiring policy systematically discriminates against talented people. But nonetheless, a switch to that solution is the way to get off the perennial military spending hook…

    • Ad 15.1

      We are almost entirely reliant for our prosperity on rule-based trade agreements.

      We generate lots of them, nearly one a year. Including this year.

      That's our contribution to diplomacy.

      Our military works the same way.

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