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Open mike 28/03/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 28th, 2022 - 71 comments
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71 comments on “Open mike 28/03/2022 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Civil rights vs state's rights is binary that has loomed into a global trend due to the pandemic. Here's why it hit the US Supreme Court:

    The Court has understood for many decades that the military simply cannot function if its members think orders may be optional.

    The Supreme Court on Friday evening decided, no, it was not going to needlessly insert itself in the military chain of command above President Joe Biden.

    The Court’s decision in Austin v. U.S. Navy SEALs 1-26 largely halted a lower court order that permitted certain sailors to defy a direct order. A group of Navy special operations personnel sought an exemption from the Pentagon’s requirement that all active duty service members get vaccinated against Covid-19, claiming that they should receive a religious exemption.


    Rebel thought seems driven by the belief that moral priorities ought to prevail over state authority. If god operates through our conscience, we could feel he's telling us to do the right thing. Many folk seem to feel that way. When sovereign citizen theory is emcompassed by one's intellect, it can seem to provide an empowerment rationale. Easy to see how many are inclined to conflate the two…


    Furthermore, there's a philosophical basis upon which to build: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/personal-autonomy/

    When people living in some region of the world declare that their group has the right to live autonomously, they are saying that they ought to be allowed to govern themselves.

    In making this claim, they are, in essence, rejecting the political and legal authority of those not in their group. They are insisting that whatever power these outsiders may have over them, this power is illegitimate; they, and they alone, have the authority to determine and enforce the rules and policies that govern their lives.

    So it's when such folk join together that the political rubber hits the road. Not just here in the current focus on co-governance, but in the various independence movements in parts of Ukraine and other countries – the Kurds have been at it for a century with only token autonomy so far, which is all China allows Tibet.

    The right of collective self-determination is widely recognised – but tradition retains supremacy to the right of states to dominate everyone. Such statism is increasingly under pressure from citizens feeling the need to rebel.

    The fact of three dissenters on that Supreme Court verdict illustrates the point. Those judges seem to be following an authority higher than the state (individual conscience) – even if they haven't spelt that out. The dynamic balance between collective rights shared by groups subordinate to the state and traditional states' rights seems to be becoming increasingly contestable.

    • Ad 1.1

      Our own government is doing precisely the opposite.

      It is appealing the court decision striking down vaccine mandates for NZDF and NZPolice.

      That's despite vaccine mandates ending within days.

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        Interesting, eh? It instances my points re the global trend & contestability of the balance. My take is that the govt wants the supreme court to assert tradition: that the sovereign right of states is supreme.

        I suppose for Labour it's just reassurance that they did the right thing & I'm okay with them getting that result. The fact that a court seems to have discounted state supremacy in favour of some other rationale is intriguing – someone ought to explore the legal ramifications to enlighten us.

        • Incognito

          The fact that a court seems to have discounted state supremacy in favour of some other rationale is intriguing …

          I think you’re over-egging things just a little. IIRC, basically, the Judge no longer judged the justifications for vaccine mandates as valid with Omicron and the same Judge had ruled in favour of mandates previously. This makes for a relevant and interesting point. In any case, I don’t think there’s such a thing as “state supremacy”, neither in legal terms nor in common parlance.

          • Dennis Frank

            state supremacy

            Perhaps I ought to have described it as the sovereignty principle. Exective authority is likewise a traditional framing of the same thing in government.

            • Incognito

              That’s just more sloppy language and loose framing, in my view.

              The only supremacy that I’m aware of is that of Parliament as the supreme Lawmaker of this nation, in the context that’s relevant here.

              • Dennis Frank

                That's precisely what I meant. It will be interesting to see if the Supreme Court rules accordingly. If it decides the lower court was right to rule against the govt I hope it cites a relevant principle for doing so.

                • Incognito

                  No Court can “discount[..] state supremacy” of NZ Parliament – only NZ Parliament can make or unmake NZ Laws. It just is nonsense. It can rule against the Executive (aka the Government), as you correctly state this time.

                  I’m done here.

      • tsmithfield 1.1.2

        I suspect the government is concerned about ongoing claims for compensation and future court cases that may be a lot more expensive than appealing this case.

        It does seem as a bit nasty and unnecessary though.

      • Gypsy 1.1.3

        Which is not only hubris, it is an irresponsible use of taxpayers money.

    • mikesh 1.2

      We managed to recognize East Timor. Although a Portugese colony originally, as opposed to a Dutch one, I think that geographically it should really have become part of Indonesia when the Portugese left.

    • mikesh 1.3

      The right of collective self-determination is widely recognised – but tradition retains supremacy to the right of states to dominate everyone. Such statism is increasingly under pressure from citizens feeling the need to rebel.

      I don't think God matters quite so much as ethnic, cultural and linguistic differences.

      • Dennis Frank 1.3.1

        Yes, globally that's my view too. The inner prompt of the deity remains influential in the USA and I mentioned it in relation to the Supreme Court case. One still sees it operating at the top level of the sociopolitical hierarchy there despite it having faded out of contention in most other western democracies.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    When Jacinda Ardern, the Queen of the furrowed brow of empathy and leader of a country which has an elite consensus that resolutely refuses to take it's security seriously, says the deal between the Solomon Islands and China is "gravely concerning" then you don't need much imagination to work out what they are saying in Canberra and Washington. And you only need to refer to a map to see why – a map that hasn't changed since 1942.

    The strategic considerations that drove the Japanese to occupy the Solomon islands in WW2 was to isolate and neutralise Australia and NZ by cutting communications to the U.S. West Coast. To this end, they built an enormous fortress at Rabaul, set out to occupy the Solomons, and sought to invade and defeat allied forces in New Guinea.

    Anyone who thinks the Australians and Americans are of a mind to allow the Chinese to simply saunter into the Solomons and build a naval base with a nice view of Ironbottom Sound so the Chinese can do for free what the Allies prevented the Japanese doing at a huge cost in lives and material and sit astride Australia and the United States strategic communications routes need a big reality check.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    I found that thing about the Afghanis stuck in Afghanistan on 60 minutes last night a bit disturbing tbh.

    I can't understand what could be preventing the government from getting the rest of those poor people out. Insisting on a visa deadline seems arbitrary and heartless to me.

    I think we have an absolute human responsibility to rescue those who have put themselves in danger to protect our troops.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Here's a useful source of alt Russian views: https://www.themoscowtimes.com/news

    Michele Berdy is American, and a writer & editor at The Moscow Times. She has lived in Moscow since 1978.

    Estonia was at the end of a long, ice-covered road — about 800 meters, a half-mile, the guards said. “See those lights way off there? That’s Estonia.”

    It is very hard to drag 150 lbs. of luggage across a half-mile of ice in the middle of the night in below 0 temperatures with a dog on a leash.

    By stopping every 100 meters and switching hands, I finally made it to the Estonia side. The border guards were very kind. I said I was a journalist and they asked why I was leaving.

    On Friday, March 4, the eighth day of the war, the Russian Parliament passed a law on the media. “Fake news” about the war would be punished by up to 15 years in jail. The law’s definition of “fake news” clarified that the war could not be called “a war.” It had to be called a “special military operation.” The terms “invasion” or “aggression” were also prohibited.

    Anything that “discredited” the armed forces was illegal, but what “discreditation” consisted of was not specified. Only Russian government and state-media sources could be used by non-state media.

    At the newspaper, we reported on the law and expected that it would be signed into effect that night. We didn’t think, however, that it was applicable to Western media like us; The Moscow Times was registered in the Netherlands.


  5. Peter 5

    There have been millions driven out of their homes and countries, buildings and bodies bombed to bits but now a truly awful thing has happened. Something supersedes anything that has happened in the world in the past month. Something so unspeakable it has to be spoken about.

    Biden called Putin a dictator and “cannot remain in power.” Wow.

    • mikesh 5.1

      Biden called Putin a dictator and “cannot remain in power.” Wow.

      He's jealous because his own dictatorship will only last four years, whereas Putin is so popular that his has lasted much longer, and looks as if it will continue for many years to come.

      • Barfly 5.1.1

        "whereas Putin is so popular "

        ROFL laugh

      • Francesca 5.1.2

        War is ugly

        Online videos have emerged, of Ukrainian forces torturing Russian POWs., shooting them in the legs as they haul them out of a van..and killing them outright

        For the Bellingcat fans

        The excessive cruelty displayed within the movies has garnered condemnation, even from pro-Ukrainian figures. The founding father of the US-government funded Bellingcat “investigative journalism” outlet Eliot Higgins, as an illustration, has described it as “very serious incident” and known as for a “further investigation” of the disturbing imagery.


        • Stuart Munro

          The material comes from one Maria Dubovikova, an insider of several RT-like state media organs. Higgins naturally wants to geolocate it – his tool of choice for unpicking Putin's manufactured stories.

          For those actually concerned with human rights, rather than affirming their credentials as lickspittle lackeys of a murderous totalitarian despot, prisoner interviews are an issue:

          Since 27 February, the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs has shared on social media grisly photos and videos of killed Russian soldiers, soon followed by dozens of videos of prisoners of war under interrogation, sometimes blindfolded or bound, revealing their names and personal information, and expressing regret over their involvement in the invasion. The videos have raised concerns about potential violations of Article 13 Third Geneva Convention, which states that prisoners of war should be protected "against insults and public curiosity. Wikipedia

          • Francesca

            I think these online videos come from the perpetrators, and may well have been picked up by several different people, the Russians would be the most concerned

            .Lets face it Stuart , breaches of the Geneva Convention are not uncommon



            As I say, war is ugly, forget about war crimes, war is the crime
            And yes, Higgins will be doing his utmost to “prove” it wrong, rather than seriously investigating it
            Trouble is, these things have a habit of coming out

            • grumpy

              These videos are authentic. Ukraine has a big problem, they invited the ICC in to observe Russian atrocities but it appears the ICC are now investigating Ukrainian ones.

              Interesting how native Russian speaking Ukrainian soldiers can do this to fellow Russians…..but that's the whole paradox with this war.

            • Stuart Munro

              Well of course we know you've never forgiven Higgins for proving unequivocally that Russian troops (who ostensibly weren't even in the Donbas) shot down MH17, and you never fail to smear him because no facts support your ill-judged love affair with the world's leading fascist regime.

              war is the crime

              Quite – but by some curious coincidence, it is always Higgins, or the US, or someone else that you find it necessary to call our attention to. never the routine dishonesty of the Kremlin or the brutality of the Russian invaders.

              Why is that Francesca? Why do you have such sympathy for this brutal failed regime? Can't you find a slightly more enlightened entity to be the menkurt servant of?

              • Byd0nz

                Because, unlike you, she looks for a balanced view, not a blind one sided one, and besides, you are backing a regime The US which has an even worse maniacal history of deceit and ongoing murder in the form of depleted uranium shells over parts of the world, not forgetting NATO which is a offensive war machine that distributes billions of dollars in weapons irresponsibly in the pursuit of Uncle Sam’s desire of hegemony.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Well of course you have no balance whatsoever, so, like Francesca, your opinion is basically worthless.

                  The US which has an even worse maniacal history of deceit

                  Actually no – even with all their many sins, the US is infinitely better than Stalinist Russia – and it is Stalinism that impels Putin to invade Ukraine. Little matters like the right of Ukrainians to self-determination go right over your head.

                  • Byd0nz

                    Well that’s a whole different story, talk about over your head, if you think Putin is Communist, he’s more in tune with Capitalism and cronyism like Western Capitalists. In fact I hope Putin gets tossed out in the next election and it’s possible the second most popular Party by far will be elected, that is of course The real Communist Party, who incidentally, are opposed to Putin’s war. Duh

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Who the hell said Stalin was communist? He was a totalitarian despot – a leader that rules through fear.

                      Putin is one of those too.

                  • Blazer

                    You are right Stuart…the Ukrainians right to have a corrupt ,non democratic ,crony non performing hierarchy ,'inspired' by the champions of 'freedom and democracy'..is commendable!blush

                    • The Al1en

                      I'm sure they, like every one else, deserve a compassionate, generous, benevolent, fair and democratic government, but until the world actually gets one to set an example good enough the rest would be foolish not to follow, sometimes a third or fourth best choice is still better than what's incoming with the missiles.

                    • Stuart Munro


                      Nevertheless, even our own experience with colonialism teaches us that one's own sons-of-bitches are always preferable to some other outfit's.

            • McFlock

              RT doing this story, assuming it is true, reminds me of an incident in WW1 where German troops committed some war crime or other against civilians. Sure, it was reported in British newspapers, alongside another story which claimed the German government were making sausages from human corpses, or some other soylent green-level rumour.

              The actual true incidents only really came to light decades later, because at the time they had been swamped by untrue propaganda.

              Basically, I'd expect some level of war crimes against the invading soldiers. They should be investigated and perpetrators prosecuted. Commanders responsible for instigating or ignoring these crimes should be prosecuted.

              Just as a just world would see Putin (and, yes, Cheney&GWB too) in the Hague for ordering the invasion in the first place.

              • lprent

                Just as a just world would see Putin (and, yes, Cheney&GWB too) in the Hague for ordering the invasion in the first place.

                Agreed. Donald Rumsfield as well except that he already died.

                Could have issues with Dick Cheney getting to the Hague. I thought he’d already died due to prior health problems. So I looked it up. But he is 81 having had a heart transplant after about 5 heart attacks – first one when he was 37.

                • McFlock

                  Yeah, the "Pinochet slip".

                  Also, occasionally I look up Kissinger on Wikipedia to see if he's in hell yet, and have a momentary "yay" because the first thing in the summary is pattern-recognised as a date range with an end date, but it always turns out to be his years in office.

        • tsmithfield

          Of course, we can't approve of that sort of behaviour. But perhaps not surprising given what the Russians have been doing to Maruipol etc. I wouldn't want to be a Russian POW, particularly from the artillery division.

    • weston 5.2

      Since perceptions are everything in politics the white house would prefer such high level gaffs as bidens didnt occur ; noone there wants the spectre of regime change memes rising above the already murky waters of their involvement .They,d prefer to speak of " Freedom and Democracy " !!.

    • AB 5.3

      The problem is that Biden saying that Putin "cannot remain in power" is likely to make it harder to stop the mayhem and murder in Ukraine, rather than easier. That's because it offers Putin no viable exit from a war he started and seems unlikely to win without a significant escalation of force.

      I'd have no problem with Putin being in jail for war crimes – ideally with a bit of overlap with GW Bush and Blair in adjacent cells who should be just about finishing their sentences by now. But fortunately we don't get to exercise our moral outrage at the expense of the Ukrainian people – realpolitik should prevail.

  6. Robert Guyton 6

    Willie Jackson

    16h ·

    "Oh, you want a debate about co-governance now do you, David Seymour?


    Māori have been waiting 182 years for someone to come forward and negotiate in good faith the promise of the Treaty, and you've self-declared your desire to be the medium for that debate!

    Wonderful news!

    I applaud your demand to debate co-governance and I relish the opportunity for debate with you David.

    I'll debate you anywhere you like David, every Town Hall, RSA, Marae, School Hall, University, Techs, Union Venues, Tea Rooms and knitting circles from Cape Reinga to Stewart Island.

    Name the venue David. You want to do in your home electorate of Epsom? How about we do one there, one at my Marae in South Auckland and the third one in Wellington?

    Your attempt to paint co-governance out as some type of conspiracy for Māori to take over the country by stealth is an absurdity that is almost Trumpian in its delusional rhetoric David and your race-baiting doesn't intimidate me in the slightest."

    Read more here: https://www.facebook.com/WillieJacksonLabour

  7. joe90 7

    Be like Sweden they said…


    • Peter 8.1

      Why pick a side? Gabbard is simply a former representative. I guess she's just an ordinary citizen, with no clout, and I can't see how she'd have something significant and meaningful, answers to offer about the war.

      Hannity's just a tv entertainer person isn't he? You'd think he'd get someone on who is current, has status and seems to reflect the American perspective. Say, someone like Marjorie Taylor Greene or Madison Cawthorn

      Isn't Hannity one of those prominent people out to make everything in the US look bad since Donald Trump and the Republicans aren't in charge?

      Pick a side? I'll go with Ukraine.

      • weston 8.1.1

        Wasnt really about ukraine as much as who had the sanest perspective in other words whos opinion would deliver the best outcome in terms of solutions .

  8. Legendary Stalingrad tank division destroyed

    Ukraine has more tanks than what it started with

    President Putin is sitting in his office when his telephone rings.

    "Hello, Mr. Putin!" a heavily accented voice said. "This is Paddy down at the Harp Pub in County Cork, Ireland. I am ringing to inform you that we are officially declaring war on you!"

    "Well, Paddy," Putin replied, "This is indeed important news! How big is your army?"

    "Right now," says Paddy, after a moment's calculation, "there is meself, me cousin Seán, me next door neighbour Seamus, and the entire darts team from the pub. That makes eight!"

    Putin paused. "I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 1,000,000 men in my army waiting to move on my command."

    "Begoora!" says Paddy. "I'll have to ring you back."

    Sure enough, the next day, Paddy calls again. "Mr. Putin, the war is still on. We have managed to get us some infantry equipment!"

    "And what equipment would that be Paddy?" Putin asks.

    "Well, we have two combines, a bulldozer, and Murphy's farm tractor."

    Putin sighs amused. "I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 60,000 tanks and 50,000 armoured personnel carriers. Also, I have increased my army to 1,500,000 since we last spoke."

    "Saints preserve us!" says Paddy. "I'll have to get back to you."

    Sure enough, Paddy rings again the next day. "Mr. Putin, the war is still on! We have managed to get ourselves airborne! We have modified Jackie McLaughlin's ultra-light with a couple of shotguns in the cockpit, and four boys from the Shamrock Bar have joined us as well!"

    Putin was silent for a minute and then cleared his throat. "I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 1000 bombers and 2000 fighter planes. My military bases are surrounded by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites. And since we last spoke, I have increased my army to 2,000,000!"

    "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!" says Paddy, "I will have to ring you back."

    Sure enough, Paddy calls again the next day. "Good mornin', Mr. Putin! I am sorry to inform you that we have had to call off the war."

    "Really? I am sorry to hear that," says Putin. "Why the sudden change of heart?"

    "Well," says Paddy, "we had a long chat over a few pints of Guinness, and we decided there is no way we can feed 2,000,000 prisoners."

    • Dennis Frank 9.1

      laugh So the NZH rates these reports as credible. If they are indeed, some of Putin's underlings will be feeling uneasy right now even if they weren't already. However denial will run rampant for a while so could be some kind of delayed reaction eventually.

      • The Al1en 9.1.1

        One is credited as being from the Telegraph, the other, news.com.au, though for sure both can and will be debunked if all those lost tanks turn up in red square next may day.

        • Dennis Frank

          I'm dead keen to believe them authentic but history shows both sides do fake news as propaganda in war. Best basis for taking them at face value is multiple-source verification followed by evidence that the Russians are acting as though the reports are factual – by which I mean their military actions (tactical & strategic) contradict the public denials they are likely to issue…

          • The Al1en

            Best basis for taking them at face value is multiple-source verification followed by evidence

            Only way to do it, on anything.

            their military actions (tactical & strategic) contradict the public denials they are likely to issue

            I believe I read somewhere the russian’s announcing a phase one complete memo, though not sure the attrition and losses have done much but sap troop moral.
            Time will tell. Longer won’t do those in the Kremlin any favours.

    • Stuart Munro 9.2

      Great link about the 4th Tank Guards

      On Saturday, it was rooted in Trostyanets,

      I'm not sure whether to damn the never very high editorial standards of the Herald, or applaud the triumph of kiwi vernacular.

      • Dennis Frank 9.2.1

        laugh I have to admit I defaulted to the latter when I read it earlier. However, I'm now obliged to suspect the reporter intended the original meaning – as in ensconced.

        • Stuart Munro

          Maybe it's the ancients wargaming background – but rout as in Run Away GIF - Run Away Monty Python - Discover & Share GIFs

          is underutilized – except by barbarous New World denizens who mean route.

  9. aom 10

    Here we go again, bending over to take it where it hurts for another US initiated poxy proxy war.


    Where is the mature independent foreign policy that was promised? Just another meaningless slogan! When we could have taken the moral high ground and been party to a resolution, we have been sold out again by gutless war-mongering politicians. As if sending cash to NATO wasn't enough to buy our way in to exacerbating the misery of Ukraine, we are now going to send bodies, which technically says, "We have declared war."

    • Stuart Munro 10.1

      If you read your link carefully, you will notice the Defence Force staff are going to Europe, not Ukraine. Likely they will be observing, and possibly preparing the ground for a relief operation once the aggressors withdraw.

  10. Hanswurst 11

    Is Jacinda Ardern's effective dismissal of Labour's chances in Tauranga to be taken at face-value, or is it a sly invitation to Winston Peters to run in a two-horse race against National, in the hope that he will drag the National Party into an uncomfortable quarrel with him without any reflection on Labour, and the outside chance that he might rain on their parade for the umpteenth time? After all, it's not as though talking down Labour's chances is any great revelation, but it's accepted wisdom that talking down your own chances never boosts your fortunes, even if you don't have a hope in Hell.

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