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Open mike 28/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 28th, 2010 - 41 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

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Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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41 comments on “Open mike 28/12/2010”

  1. Finally, Date lines and other mishaps not withstanding here is the link to my radio interview with Dr. Kevin Barrett. For those of you interested in 911 and why it was scientifically impossible for the official Conspiracy Theory to be true have a listen.

  2. just saying 2

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2010/12/24/gordon-campbell-on-the-government%e2%80%99s-war-with-itself/

    I’ve cobbled together some bits from Campbell’s latest article on our government’s poor decision making when shelling out large sums of public money. Peter Jackson is a good example of welfare for the wealthy, and I reckon the many cases like this are a weak point in National’s armour. Key has already announced that welfare reform will be one of National’s four main election platforms. This has the potential to provide the forum, and the preset public mood, for the left to exploit to ram home the message about who the real bludgers are.
    (italics are mine)

    Campbell:
    “The government has provided support to several aspects of Weta Digital’s development, including the recently announced $5.8 million of Tech NZ funding to help establish a dedicated r&d unit, strengthen connections with local and international research groups, and develop a long term r& d programme………..

    ……..It is somewhat mind boggling that this late in his career, Peter Jackson would even apply – let alone be given – a government subsidy to develop a ‘dedicated r& d unit’ at Weta Digital, and thereby ‘develop a long term r&d programme.’ You mean if taxpayers hadn’t paid for it, Weta wouldn’t have an r&d programme ?………………

    ……………..Arguably, government subsidies should not be means tested, but that additional $NZ2 million to help build the Kong sound stage in 2004 was handed over at roughly the same time Jackson was reportedly pulling down a $US20 million fee for his work on the movie. Little wonder that the New Zealand private sector has one of the lowest r&d investment rates in the entire OECD. Are such gifts a hand-up or a handout? You be the judge, because you’re paying for it…………..

    ……………….Can these chumps be trusted to be any more savvy with public money when it comes to public-private partnerships in say…education, or in transport infrastructure? That’s the worry, as we head into 2011″.

    • >but that additional $NZ2 million to help build the Kong sound stage in 2004 was handed over at roughly the same time< … as we had a labor government!
      So who are you suggesting 'you' vote for? twedal dumb or twedal dummer?
      Giving tax money to business is what all fanciest governments do. live with it.

      • just saying 2.1.1

        I’m not a Labour supporter. I said “the left” not ‘Labour’. Watch out for those knee-jerk assumptions. (There’s a rumour going round that there are more than two political parties in NZ…)

        “Giving tax money to business is what all fanciest governments do. live with it”

        God forbid even suggesting the possibility anything ever changing. It’s not like NZ is a democracy or anything.

        • Robert Atack 2.1.1.1

          All left wing parties are just sub branches of labour, the greed party was set up to soak up the ‘organic’ vote … and in turn hand it to Helen.
          They are all politicians first, second and third, telling the truth and doing good comes way way down their list of ‘to dos’ … and as we see on election day most people are happy with this arrangement
          Nothing has changed for thousands of years, people at the top are despots, they will keep doing what they do until they can’t. Peak growth is their boogie man.

          • mcflock 2.1.1.1.1

            I dunno that nothing has changed for thousands of years.

            They didn’t really have elections a thousand years ago (Iceland might be an exception), and if they did slaves couldn’t vote.

            A thousand years before that they had folk chop each other to death for fun.

            So we’re moving on slowly but surely. And the Alliance ain’t a sub branch of labour, FWIW.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1.1

              A thousand years before that they had folk chop each other to death for fun.

              Bayonets were still standard issue in WWII.

              • mcflock

                Still are today. But at least today we’re not supposed to find it fun for people to use them right in front of us.

                Well, not right in front, admittedly. That means we’d be on the pointy end.

            • Bill 2.1.1.1.1.2

              Athenian democracy. Not perfect. And neither is what we have today. And a thousand years before Athens and beyond, tribes people may well have participated in tribal decisions on a level way beyond anything we experience today. And that continued in some societies until colonisation…our ‘crusade of salvation and civilisation’… got to them.

              And there are millions of slaves in the world today. And they can’t vote. And their lot is far worse than that of many slaves in the ‘classical’ world you reference.

              And today, in countries ripped apart by economic deprivation and plunged into civil war, child soldiers hack people to death…just for fun.

              Now, where are we moving to again?

              • mcflock

                In NZ, we’re moving forward, slightly back over the last 30 years, but generally forward.

                And the slaves in the world today are at about the same level in slaves of classical times – from gold miners for the Romans to asbestos workers in Ancient Greece.

                Improvement doesn’t imply perfection.

                • Bill

                  “More than 5,000 children are being forced to work as sex slaves in the UK,…”
                  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/5000-child-sex-slaves-in-uk-437800.html

                  “…pimps and organised-crime bosses are transporting up to 500,000 women and girls, some as young as 14, into the European Union each year to be “sold like cattle” into sex slavery and enforced prostitution,…”
                  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/shame-of-eu-over-50000 sex-slaves-1269821.html

                  And so it goes on…article after article. And just from one newspaper search…browse them for yourself

                  http://www.independent.co.uk/search/index.jsp?eceExpr=sex+slavery

                  And if you agree that economic deprivation feeds slavery, then you might want to reflect that the economic differential of the UK and eastern Europe is probably not dissimilar to that of NZ and the rest of Polynesia

                  • mcflock

                    Okay, you guys are right.

                    A dep10 unemployed adult in NZ has as little say in the government of NZ as a slave in ancient Rome. Or does that sound slightly stupid?

                    • Bill

                      Mcflock

                      I commented because you seemed to be peddling the fallacy of inevitable ‘progression’ in human affairs. But overall, human affairs seem to more subject to churn than any linear (halting or otherwise) process of improvement.

                      As such, ‘better’ and ‘worse’ are wholly subject to specific locations in time and place. Some things, like medical care, are certainly better for me than they were for my parents or their parents before them. But that’s beside the point. It’s the application or practice of that knowledge that marks whether we are ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than our predecessors. And I don’t think that our ancestors were indifferent to those among their number that needed medical attention to any greater or lesser degree than we are. ( Maybe we recoil at historical instances of lepers or such like being generally shunned and think of ourselves as ‘better than that’, only to shun victims of HIV in our own turn.)

                      Where certain, self referencing, linear progressions might be discernible in western social democracies, when we look through history we can identify other societies that were, by our criteria, and on specific matters, ‘better’ than us. (The position of women in society for example, or the treatment of conquered foes [The Persian Empire?], or on any number of specific moral attitudes.)

                      This is a long way of saying that specific socio/economic or cultural expressions are subject to change. And whereas we prefer to view that change as progression, it is probably more accurate to perceive any change as churn over the longer term…some things get incrementally ‘better’, some ‘worse’. And then the whole dynamic eventually dissipates and new, not necessarily linearly connected socio/economic or cultural dynamics come to the fore.

                      It’s like everything always changes at the same time as everything stays the same…variations of a constant theme.

                    • mcflock

                      There is a floor of human behaviour, where it might not be solitary but is definitely poor, nasty, brutish and short.

                      There is a ceiling, which we probably haven’t attained yet.

                      I like to think we’re farther away from the floor than we were a thousand years ago. It might be just “churn”, but I think we’re moving up. True, a village society 2,000 years ago probably didn’t have complete extermination in mind when it disputed territory with another village, but then I’m not sure that their treatment of the sick, frail or maybe women was as egalitarian as all that. Oh, and their life expectancy was probably 35.

                      We can slip, and we’re sure as hell not all we can be, but if my view of human progression was as bleak as yours I’d probably want serious medication.

                      And I think the Athenians might disagree with your attitude to the consequences of a persian invasion. That’s the thing about true autocrats – no impulse control.

                    • Bill

                      …if my view of human progression was as bleak as yours I’d probably want serious medication.

                      But you miss my point. I have no view on human progression. It doesn’t exist.

                      Look at it this way. All things being equal…ie cultural prerogatives or conditionings aside…would mutual comprehension and affinity exist between you or I and typical people from 1000, 20 000 or even 100 000 years ago? Or would we feel lost and confused due to some evolutionary process of psychology having put distance between us? (ie, would we be confronting, essentially, a different species?)

                      I reckon the former.

                    • mcflock

                      but a positive change in cultural conditioning (e.g. slavery = bad rather than slavery = legitimate business) is actually human progression.

                      And over the last thousand or few thousand years humanity has moved in that direction. Yes, there have been backward steps, yes there are some for whom their lot is as bad now as it would have been a thousand years ago, but at least now we belief this is bad and look to laws to change it. And maybe in a thousand years (hopefully sooner) laws and law enforcement will be more effective in eradicating such practises.

                    • Bill

                      There have always been people who thought or believed slavery was a bad thing.

                      Making laws around it isn’t any progression of the human condition.

                      The human condition remains the same.

                    • Remove oil from socity and bang we are on the floor again.
                      This snip from a talk given in 1957 … we have surely got a shit load more stupid since then.
                      With high energy consumption goes a high standard of living. Thus the enormous fossil energy which we in this country control feeds machines which make each of us master of an army of mechanical slaves. Man’s muscle power is rated at 35 watts continuously, or one-twentieth horsepower. Machines therefore furnish every American industrial worker with energy equivalent to that of 244 men, while at least 2,000 men push his automobile along the road, and his family is supplied with 33 faithful household helpers. Each locomotive engineer controls energy equivalent to that of 100,000 men; each jet pilot of 700,000 men. Truly, the humblest American enjoys the services of more slaves than were once owned by the richest nobles, and lives better than most ancient kings. In retrospect, and despite wars, revolutions, and disasters, the hundred years just gone by may well seem like a Golden Age.

                    • mcflock

                      yes there were always people who thought slavery a bad thing, most notably the slaves.

                      But there is a difference between it occurring in criminal enterprises that society frowns upon (tries to shut down) and it occurring freely on the street with the militia or soldiery returning runaway slaves.

                      That difference is a progression.

                    • Bill

                      Seems your sunk in being unable to differentiate between what we do and what we are.

                      But even on the what we do front.

                      Question…

                      What is the qualitative difference between getting directly supplied with food and shelter in return for your labour and getting paid money with which to compete with others to secure access to food and shelter ( and multifarious shiny baubles ) in return for your labour?

                      The dynamic is essentially the same, is it not?

                      Yet, isn’t it the case that ‘earning a wage’ is seen as right and proper and something to be aspired to in the modern age?

                      Progression of the human condition or progression in the art of cunning manipulation in order to make that which is unacceptable appear acceptable?

                    • mcflock

                      Seems that you are unable to realise that what we do counts for something.

                      Assuming that your question was a false equivalence between earning a wage and wage slavery and feudal slavery, then the main difference is lack of legitimised brutality. Yes, law enforcement is force, but we do tend to shy away from beating people to death these days. Not 100%, admittedly, but at least we try. And yes, I do think the attempt (even if unsuccessful) counts for something.

                      Can we move beyond the GDP wage economy? Yes. Is it still better than a feudal economy? Yes.

            • Robert Atack 2.1.1.1.1.3

              >They didn’t really have elections a thousand years ago<
              As far as 'democracy' goes we might as well be living in China or Russia, our choice on election day is about the same, 'they' manipulate everything from sand pit to polling both, 'they' know human nature, it is a breeze in a fossil fueled growth at no cost disposable society to run this scam, wait till 'we' can't afford a 2/3/4/5 party system … then the truth as to who rules will come out. So called democracy is a luxury, we and 'they' will soon miss.

              • mcflock

                We all have a choice about who to vote for.

                Don’t blame a “them” for the people electing the government they deserve.

                • -We all have a choice about who to vote for.-
                  No we haven’t, take the con Kiwi Saver for example, I know people will never see a return on their money if they are under 60 (being kind here). It is an out and out lie to expect this fast self-destructing system to keep itself together much more than 5 years, let alone have growth over the next 47 (time for 18 yo to retire) I think every politician voted for this scam, hence they all have their fat over paid heads up each others butts, they are in the same ponzi scam IE vote for us and life will get better, trust us, we will give you XYZ till the sun stops shining. The right think wealth and happiness will flow down to the masses and the left think we will get/deserve our ‘fare share’ -come by yar-
                  They are all feeding us the same crap, and because 99% of ‘the people’ are apathetic brain dead baby factories, they get away with it.
                  And every 3 years the fools think voting will change things, ha bloody ha ha, the joke is on us, well you as I don’t have a KS account, and if I vote it is always a protest one.
                  Please wake up.

                  • just saying

                    Believing ‘we’re-all-going-to -hell-in-a-handcart-and-there’s-nothing-we-can-do-about-it’ isn’t quite the mark of genius you seem to think it is RA.
                    Pretty common in my experience.

                    • JS – Pretty common in my experience.
                      Alas my anonymous friend it is not common enough as witnessed by all the bloody maternity wards.
                      Oh and the happy happy joy joy crap in the papers about all the kids being born over the past few weeks. poor buggers.

                    • Also JS there is KS …. with around 500,000 fools joined up, guess that is only $500 million more the govt owes? Yet another bill never to be paid.

            • ianmac from UAE 2.1.1.1.1.4

              Actually the Irish had elections for rulers, equal rights for women like in medicine or education and a restorative approach to crime. All this around the 7th Century AD. It eroded under the Roman Catholic Church influence where segregation and punitive justice become the norm.

              • M

                Yes indeed ianmac – have you read ‘How the Irish Saved Civilization’ by Thomas Cahill?

                St Patrick worked very hard at bringing the different tribes together in Ireland, perhaps a little too well considering what happened to them later. Women were certainly freer and not bottom feeders in Irish society before the arrival of suffocating Augustinian/Roman Catholicism. Irish monks and priests wishing to avoid conflict (as well as political influence from leaders) gave in at a synod in England in the seventh century to avoid a schism in the early Catholic church over various matters concerning faith and conduct which is a damn shame because it all goes to explain the existence of places like Magdalene laundries, because you know it’s all those damned women’s faults for enticing poor, innocent men to sin.

                Augustine was lucky that texts, both secular and religious, were preserved through the labours of generations of Irish monks while Rome’s empire crumbled under pressure from barbarian hordes so he could really get his misogyny groove on and message out after being the most shocking Lothario.

                Hell knows what he would have made of St Patrick helping pregnant nuns – maybe some long pork for dinner barbequed a la Augustine?

            • KJT 2.1.1.1.1.5

              Now we bomb people to bits in their millions to ensure the oil supply to the USA.

              Primitive tribespeople in New Guinea have more self determination than the average Westerner in UK, USA, Ireland, NZ or Greece.

              Athens, Rome and many other early cultures had a greater degree of democracy than we do. The current Swiss democracy has rather a long history also.

  3. Tigger 3

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.php?c_id=1&objectid=10696773

    Truly bizarre piece – not even marked Opinion in the mobile site so it appears as ‘news’.

    No free lunch except for the rich. Because when English says tighten your belts he only means working class.

    • Vicky32 3.1

      Further more he uses the Americanism “different than”! (No, I am not being silly – I am assuming that his use of an Americanism – which BTW is simply grammatically wrong, not an allowable variation) shows where his thinking comes from!
      Deb

  4. John 4

    Senator Bernie Sanders rails against America’s NeoLiberal Greed Machine which has destroyed a once great Nation now reduced to Banana republic Status. This is the way Key and Wodney want us to follow to our own disaster and decline while they line the pockets of their mates! Is John giving Corporate OBama a xmas call from his Hawaiian retreat?

    At this moment in time Senator Bernie Sanders is probably the only honest civil servant on the senate floor with a working mind of his own..Everyone else in the House seems to be bought off by the International Bankers et al I gotta give it to Bernie Sanders… Man, this guy has a set of balls on him, don’t he??.he is talking about the military industrial complex, goldman sachs? rockefeller, the fed .The political stranglehold the super rich have on the American political machine and its policies.

    Refer link: http://geraldcelentechannel.blogspot.com/

  5. May be slightly off topic, if there is one on Open Mike?
    This is a brilliant speech, given in 1957
    http://www.energybulletin.net/print/23151
    Admiral Rickover was considered the Father of the Nuclear Submarine.(don’t hold this against him ra) As an employee of the US Atomic Energy Commission, later Department of Energy, he had great influence on the development of our country’s civilian Nuclear Power Generation Industry. This speech, given almost 50 years ago, sheds an important light on our current discussion about the future of energy in our country. In the 1970s, Admiral Rickover worked closely with President Jimmy Carter on energy issues.

    snip from his speech (which covers lots of topics relating to energy/food/population)
    Calculations give us the astonishing estimate that one out of every 20 human beings born into this world is alive today. .. (it must be around 5 now ?)
    snip 2 –
    For more than one hundred years we have stoked ever growing numbers of machines with coal; for fifty years we have pumped gas and oil into our factories, cars, trucks, tractors, ships, planes, and homes without giving a thought to the future. Occasionally the voice of a Cassandra has been raised only to be quickly silenced when a lucky discovery revised estimates of our oil reserves upward, or a new coalfield was found in some remote spot. Fewer such lucky discoveries can be expected in the future, especially in industrialized countries where extensive mapping of resources has been done. Yet the popularizers of scientific news would have us believe that there is no cause for anxiety, that reserves will last thousands of years, and that before they run out science will have produced miracles. Our past history and security have given us the sentimental belief that the things we fear will never really happen – that everything turns out right in the end. But, prudent men will reject these tranquilizers and prefer to face the facts so that they can plan intelligently for the needs of their posterity.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    With the clowns we have currently pushing us off the cliff what chance youre children?
    Apathy rules though

  6. Did Conor English take the Standard’s comments back in November personally?

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    5 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    7 days ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    7 days ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    7 days ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
    I am a member of the working poor and so still need state welfare to make rent. So I had booked an appointment for yesterday with my caseworker at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) to apply for a transition to work grant. However the current health advice in New ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • A good first step
    Today the government announced a financial package to deal with the effects of the pandemic. So far, it looks good: an initial $500 million for health to deal with immediate priorities, wage subsidies for affected businesses, $585 a week from WINZ for people self-isolating who can't work from home, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: COVID-19 Alert Level 4
    The COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is moving fast - and to avoid what we've seen overseas - the Government's response must be to move fast too. We're committed to keeping New Zealanders safe and well-informed every step of the way. ...
    17 hours ago
  • SPEECH: Green Party Co-leader James Shaw – Ministerial statement on State of National Emergency an...
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  The scale of what we face right now is unlike anything we have ever seen before. Overcoming it is our common purpose. ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters urging New Zealanders overseas to stay put
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging New Zealanders overseas to stay where they are amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are.” "This includes following the instructions ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealanders overseas encouraged to shelter in place
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging the tens of thousands of New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider sheltering in place, in light of COVID-19.  “Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying ...
    5 days ago
  • Ground-breaking abortion law passes, giving NZers compassionate healthcare
    Ground-breaking law has passed that will decriminalise abortion and ensure women and pregnant people seeking abortions have compassionate healthcare. ...
    1 week ago
  • Package supports Kiwis to put collective health first
    The Green Party says that the measures announced by the Government today will help families and businesses to prioritise our collective health and wellbeing in the response to COVID-19. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: COVID-19 rescue package ‘more significant’ than any worldwide
    As New Zealanders brace for a global downturn due to Covid-19, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says his Coalition Government’s rescue package "more significant" than any other he's seen around the world. The Coalition is to reveal a multi-billion-dollar stimulus plan on Tuesday afternoon designed to cushion the economic blow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our response to COVID-19
    We know some people are feeling anxious about COVID-19. While the situation is serious, New Zealand has a world-class health system and we’re well-prepared to keep New Zealanders safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Demerit Points System’ will address youth crime
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill drawn from the ballot today seeks to overhaul the youth justice system by instigating a system of demerit points for offences committed by young offenders. “The ‘Youth Justice Demerit Point System’ will put an end to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in kingfish farming
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $6 million in a land-based aquaculture pilot to see whether yellowtail kingfish can be commercially farmed in Northland, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. A recirculating land-based aquaculture system will be built and operated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1BT grants for Northland planting
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Forestry Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced two One Billion Trees programme grants of more than $1.18 million to help hapu and iwi in Northland restore whenua and moana. “Many communities around Aotearoa have benefited from One Billion Trees funding since the programme was launched ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand reaffirms support for Flight MH17 judicial process
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahead of the start of the criminal trial in the Netherlands on 9 March, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has reaffirmed the need to establish truth, accountability and justice for the downing of Flight MH17 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF investment in green hydrogen
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister The Government is investing $19.9 million through the Provincial Growth Fund in a game-changing hydrogen energy facility in South Taranaki, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The development of alternative energy initiatives like this one is vital for the Taranaki region’s economy. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coronavirus support for Pacific
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Minister for Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand is partnering with countries in the Pacific to ensure they are prepared for, and able to respond to the global threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19). “There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party passes landmark law to ensure deaf and disabled voices heard equally in democracy
    Chlöe Swarbrick's Members Bill to support disabled general election candidates has passed into law. ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
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