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The Kavanaugh confirmation hearing

Written By: - Date published: 8:56 am, September 30th, 2018 - 63 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, feminism, International, Politics, sexism, us politics - Tags: ,

Like political junkies throughout the world I watched some of the approval hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday.

Blame it on my three decades in law or my confessed left wing bias but I could not help but notice the stark contrast in the two competing stories.

First there was the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford.  Her testimony casts doubt on Kavanaugh’s suitability for holding one of the most important judicial positions in the United States because when they were young he had sexually assaulted her.

Sure they were young and it was at school but the assault was serious and has left a life long effect on her.

She was a reluctant complainant, she had allowed her complaint to go public but for her identity to be anonymous. That way it would have almost inevitably carried insufficient weight to stop the Republicans appointing him.

But her identity became public and she then decided to testify.

From CNN:

A woman accusing Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct more than 30 years ago came forward publicly Sunday, detailing her allegations about the Supreme Court nominee in an interview with The Washington Post.

The paper said Christine Blasey Ford, a professor in California, reached out to the Post in July as Kavanaugh’s name appeared on short lists to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, but she opted not to speak with the Post on the record for weeks. As her private outreach to California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein became public over the past week, she decided to go ahead and speak out herself, Sunday’s report said.

“Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation,” Ford told the Post.

It was not a recent invention. For instance she had confided to her counsellor and husband in 2012 that the attack had happened.  Back then it was completely private.  She did not want to say it publicly unless the need to do so was absolutely compelling.

And she did not want to go public.  Funny but victims of sexual assaults tend to want to not have their details broadcast publicly.

But her evidence was utterly compelling.  Straight to the point, clear, concise and damning.

Then Brett Kavaunagh testified.  Kauvanagh must have never run a case before. His shouty insistence that he was innocent backed up by some Republican senators who should know better was really painful to watch.

He admitted liking beer, too much beer, but said that he never had a black out.  He said that he and his friends abided by the recommended alcohol consumption for driving.  As if.

He refused to answer questions and his shouty indignation was a real turn off.  Clearly he has something to hide.

The overwhelming impression was that he was living in some sort of Animal House frat house.

This highlights video captures the contrast very well.

The Republican response was interesting.  They had hired a female lawyer to ask all the questions.  Then part way through they ditched this and started to ask questions themselves which were belligerent defences of Kauvanaugh.  They were clearly rattled by what they had witnessed.

And they miss the point. This was a hearing to determine whether or not Kauvanaugh should be the next member of the Supreme Court, not whether or not he is guilty of the allegation. The decision should be a risk free one.  Candidates should have the highest moral and ethical qualities.  No doubt at some stage the Court will have to deal with cases involving treatment of minors, or how juveniles under the influence of beer should be treated if they then commit offences, or how historical allegations of sexual assault and attempted rape should be handled.  This is why this hearing is important.

The Republicans have delayed the hearing for a week to allow the FBI to investiage the claims not only of Blasey Ford but also of others who have also complained about Kauvanaugh’s behaviour.  It is only for a short time and it probably gives wavering REpublicans the cover to then vote yes.  Unless something startling appears.  But a week will not be long enough.

And if you want an early winner of the Internet thingy of the year, here it is.

 

63 comments on “The Kavanaugh confirmation hearing”

  1. JessNZ 1

    Kavanaugh’s testimony was insulting.
    1. (Unlike Ford) All of his answers were clearly rehearsed to avoid any truth accidentally spilling out. When a question got really specific and tough, he ignored it, made a speech, or attacked the questioner in way that totally disrespected the process and his role in it, and sometimes all three.
    2. He pledged to DKE – the ‘No means yes, yes means anal’ fraternity boys. Yet not only did he flatly deny any participation in any abuse ever in his life, he was never even at any parties where anything like that happened. RIIIIGHT. Of course:

    “What happens at Georgetown Prep, stays at Georgetown Prep.” Funny that hilarious joke didn’t come out at the hearings to show how long he’s been suppressing shameful stories.

    I also hope there are folks at the FBI who have been revving their engines for weeks ready to investigate all the connections that the partisan committee has been ignoring.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/09/18/kavanaugh-what-happens-geogetown-prep-828420

  2. Siobhan 2

    Not to take away from this in any way, it is important, and it is something, but I’ll feel alot happier when we can have a working class woman with a life of struggle and unfortunate circumstances be taken seriously on the stand in rape cases. Especially against a powerful male. It would be interesting to see how the New York v. Strauss-Kahn case would play out now.

    My one hope is that trickle down feminism delivers better results for the masses on this issue than its track record would suggest.

  3. Cinny 3

    Have been following this with great interest. Holding back on an informed opinion until after they delivered their testimonies.

    Opinion so far…..

    Regardless of whether he did it or not, he will deny it until the grave. If he’s guilty it’s not like he’s going to turn around and say, yeah I was a drunk dick head and messed up.

    Another thought was….. could he have been so wasted at the time that he didn’t remember details? Let’s face it, many of us have had some very drunk moments in our late teens, where we can’t remember the night before.

    As well how many of us knows someone who is a nice person but when they drink they turn into the biggest arsehole on the planet. You know the type, the one that doesn’t carry the guilt because the night before ended up being a black out that they can’t remember.

    However… ‘beach week’ say’s it all.

    Re his testimony he continued to play the sympathy cards, talking about his wife and daughters.

    It doesn’t matter who he has become, what matters is what he was accused of doing all those years ago. Watching him made me wonder if he would be even able to control his emotions to make a sound decision if he was on the supreme court, should a case come up that he feels emotive about.

    Fords testimony spoke volumes, if one has ever been a ‘survivor’ of a sexual assault, you will understand. It’s not something one forgets, neither is the assaulter, one carries that with them, for life.

    Kavanaugh should just walk away from his nomination, but maybe his quest for fame/fortune and ego inflation is too much for him to do so.

    PS… Love that little twitter meme/clip at the end, brilliant work by the creator.

  4. ianmac 4

    Ford spoke quietly sincerely about her recollection. (Though memories are tricky.)

    Kavanagh Shouty, aggressive, self piteous, avoids answering questions, sarcastic and very emotional.

    They are asking what would have happened had it been Ford who behaved thus? Laughed at? Emotional women can’t be trusted? Not credible?
    How come men are allowed to blow up and and then be admired for their righteous anger?

    • Cinny 4.1

      Exactly Ian, if she had become shouty and angry, the media etc would have slayed her. And if she is emotional and upset, she still get’s slayed.

      But it’s ok for him to yell and be angry as well as be emotional and teary, he’s got so much more to lose than her. I suspect his tears were tears of sadness and shame for being caught out.

  5. veutoviper 5

    Here is an interesting Washington Post article (just an hour ago?) where it seems that the FBI are on the job already and are interviewing quite a few people, some of whom are women with similar experiences with Kavanaugh. Others are male friends of Kavanaugh who are not supporting him per se, but instead are sitting on the fence and “cannot recall” …

    https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/fbi-reaches-out-to-second-woman-who-has-accused-brett-kavanaugh-of-sexual-misconduct/ar-BBNIwid

  6. AB 6

    Kavanaugh is clearly a political operative selected as a reliable hired hand to deliver what the Republican Party’s donors want. Not just a reversal of Roe v Wade, but legalising Republican tactics of working class voter suppression, removal of the right of governments to regulate on the environment, labour laws, etc.
    It is likely that there are numerous women who are not coming forward but are sitting on stories about his behaviour.
    The sickly façade of religious faith and ‘family’ plastered over a deeply immoral and repellent political ideology, and a predilection for assaulting women, is absolutely typical and unsurprising.

    The Constitution is completely absurd on this matter – why are judges not appointed by their peers instead of the President, and why is there not a fixed term length and a fixed retirement age?

    • Dukeofurl 6.1

      yes the constitution says its a lifetime appointment. But until say the 1970s many Scotus judges would quit long before they got too old. back then I think the work load was far higher than now.

      The answer is what they already use in lower federal courts is called Senior status, which mostly means they become part timers.
      As the Supreme court for alsmot all cases has major decisions done on a full bench, having a semi retired judge might not work that well.
      The answer to that is the recently ‘retired’ Anthony Kennedy hasnt totally retired as he has indicated he will continue to work as a ‘senior judge’ on one of the Federal Appeals courts – the next step down in the court ladder. The same happened for the previous retired Judge Souter- he sometimes sits on a Boston Appeals Court cases. Sandra Day O’Connor before that did the same.

      That seems to be the answer to the constitutions lifetime provision, they become senior judges at say 75 and then semi retire to an appeals court of their choosing.

    • Macro 6.2

      why are judges not appointed by their peers instead of the President, and why is there not a fixed term length and a fixed retirement age?

      QFT
      This current abomination of natural justice is typical of an outmoded “democratic” constitution which has long outlived it’s use by date.
      There are now women who are are being separated from their families for the crime of voting, others are being disenfranchised as fast as the legislators can enact restrictions. A vote in California is worth 1/85th of the vote in Iowa, and in a recent Texas council election only 6% of people voted.
      The US has long since given up on being a free and democratic country.

  7. That video at the end is the Best – love it.

    Yep truth verses lies – so easy to spot. And yep micky as a job interview or assessment of character it must go down as a major fail for brett lol – yet it won’t be spun like that by some.

  8. Ross 8

    Similar accusations were made by Anita Hill against Clarence Thomas in 1991. Thomas was also nominated for the Supreme Court. I’ve no dubt that similar accusations will be made in the future about Supreme Court nominees.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Thomas

  9. Cinny 9

    Kudos Mr Booker, well said indeed.

  10. Ross 10

    The Republicans have delayed the hearing for a week to allow the FBI to investiage the claims not only of Blasey Ford but also of others who have also complained about Kauvanaugh’s behaviour.

    Except the FBI doesn’t make decisions or reach conclusions re sexual assault allegations. The Democrats have previously made that crystal clear. This is what Joe Biden said about the Thomas nomination:

    “The next person who refers to an FBI report as being worth anything obviously doesn’t understand anything. FBI explicitly does not, in this case or any other case, reach a conclusion, period. PERIOD.”

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/09/25/biden_1991_fbi_do_not_reach_conclusions_when_investigating_sexual_misconduct.html

  11. Good read this

    That’s language Brett Kavanaugh could get behind. For he embodies this dominant strain of our current politics. No matter that he’s a judge: for him, an angry man who opposed an investigation of the facts and full legal process should be heard ahead of a woman eager for the facts to be known. In that dismal sense, truly, Kavanaugh is a man of our time.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/29/brett-kavanaugh-insidious-force-global-politics-toxic-masculinity

  12. Bill 12

    This was a hearing to determine whether or not Kauvanaugh should be the next member of the Supreme Court, not whether or not he is guilty of the allegation.

    Okay. So going on that basis – that guilt or innocence is incidental – wouldn’t a repentant Kauvanaugh have done whatever he could to avoid Ford having to be put through the mill?

    And if he didn’t do what she says, then wouldn’t he attempt to extend a degree of compassion and empathy to her damaged humanity?

    His utter lack of humility, roaring sense entitlement and homily riddled “concern” are, on their own and regardless of what transpired in his youth, more than enough to suggest he shouldn’t be appointed.

    But then, structures that endow entitlement and privilege aren’t exactly renowned for promoting, rewarding or curating desirable human traits…

    • adam 12.1

      It was all a bit ugly.

      Kauvanaugh let his privilege really shine through.

      What the old adage about the working class and the Upper class having nothing in common – I think Kauvanaugh went a long, long way in proving that. The rich and privileged live in a different world.

  13. Sacha 13

    Why are the Repugs pushing Kavanaugh through, you ask? Because he is needed on the Supreme Court bench for a ruling in a few weeks to defuse state-level prosecutions of Chump’s enablers.

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/9/28/1799636/-Brett-Kavanaugh-and-Gamble-vs-U-S-No-17-646

    • Andre 13.1

      I thought Repugs were generally pretty big on states rights.

      Oh wait … that might become a wee bit inconvenient … now I get it.

  14. chris73 14

    Ben Shapiros take on it

    • JessNZ 14.1

      I didn’t know who Ben Shapiro was before. Now I do. I don’t feel improved for it.

      https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Ben_Shapiro

      • Andre 14.1.1

        Credit where it’s due – when he called the now-PEEOTUS a “turd tornado” in a live TV interview, he made the world a slightly better place. Just a tiny bit, and for only a brief moment, but still …

      • shadrach 14.1.2

        Don’t rely on Rational Wiki as your source. Shapiro is sharp, very sharp. But his politics are of the right wing conservative variety, so if that offends you, hold on to your hat.

      • Alex 14.1.3

        I didn’t know what rational wiki was before. Now I do. I don’t feel improved for it.

      • lprent 14.1.4

        Looks like a fool who never bothered to learn much, and mostly what he learnt was how not to learn.

        I presume he is like Farrar. A parasite more used to spinning words than actually working.

      • joe90 14.1.5

        Cracker put-down.

        The encouraging news is that if Ben Shapiro is the sharpest thinker among millennial conservatives, millennial leftists don’t have too much to worry about. You may feel as if Shapiro is a Vaporizer of Poor Logic, the Aristotle of our time. You may feel as if he has brutally torn apart every person who has crossed him in public, through his tried and tested technique of speaking extremely quickly until they give up. You may feel that he is brilliant and thoughtful and sincere.

        But before you treat these feelings as real, remember that annoying little fact about facts: They don’t really care how you feel.

        https://static.currentaffairs.org/2017/12/the-cool-kids-philosopher

    • Morrissey 14.2

      That’s almost as lame as “Mike Hosking’s take on it.”

      By the way, Hosking will be gutted at the sentence handed out to Bill Cosby, whom he admired greatly.

    • Gabby 14.3

      Is that kav’s kumfasse chrissy?

    • Incognito 14.4

      But what’s your take on it? In your own words, and it your own time – YouTube clip is optional.

      • chris73 14.4.1

        If, as Ben suggests, the reason the Democrats want an investigation is so that the position remains vacant long enough for the democrats to get back in to put their own person in then its a political hit job especially given how long the democrats sat on this for and now it was leaked to the media and no one knows how

        On the other hand if what the alleged victim says is true then thats not good either so I guess I have to say I’m glad NZ doesn’t conduct itself like this

        • McFlock 14.4.1.1

          Maybe it’s just chickens coming home to roost for the repugs.

          It seems to me that they put forward a massive jerk on the basis that he was a social conservative and likely to vote that a president couldn’t be indicted. And when you put forward a massive jerk for an extremely high-profile, important, and irrevocable job for life, chances are that the jerk didn’t suddenly become a jerk overnight. Skeletons come out of closets.

          I believe the women. But even if I doubted their accuracy, this jerk’s defensive equivocation over drinking, possible perjury in previous hearings, and ranting testimony quite frankly do not fit in with the job of being one of the highest judges in the land for the rest of his life.

        • Andre 14.4.1.2

          What on earth would give Shapiro the idea to keep the seat open until the other side could fill it? Could his inspiration possibly be the Repugs ignoring their their constitutional obligations and oaths to refuse Merrick Garland even just a hearing? Who, by the way, was a thoughtful, moderate, independent-minded jurist who could be counted on to decide according to the merits rather than politics. And was originally recommended to Obama as someone the Repugs could support, back before the Repugs got a Senate majority.

          Maybe the Dems are giving Kavanaugh a hard time because Kavanaugh has a gambling problem he’s lied about. He’s lied about his drinking problems. He’s been wilfully misleading under oath about his role in handling stolen Democratic info used for dirty politics. And now it seems he has a sexual assault history he’s also lying about, under oath. Kavanaugh’s only apparent appeal for the position appears to be that he’s an utterless shameless nakedly partisan political hack.

          Neil Gorsuch didn’t have the problems getting confirmed that Kavanaugh is having, because Gorsuch doesn’t have the history of lying, drinking, gambling and sex assaults that Kavanaugh apparently has.

        • lprent 14.4.1.3

          *sigh* They could simply just get another candidate. This one appears to have undisclosed skeletons on their past. Plus it was pretty clear in the latest hearing that he is a self-entitled hack with anger issues and partisan non-judicial attitudes.

          He acts less like a person applying for a job, and more like a 53 year old frat brat being deprived of his expected toys. I can see why Donald Trump likes him.

          But really the same criteria that the republicans claimed to support when it was the Garland nomination should apply now.

          It is close to an election – they should let the voters decide eh?

          If voters decide to change the balance in the US senate (as well as the house), then only a moderate judge will get through.

  15. Macro 15

    Saturday Night Live’s take on it 😂

  16. instauration 16

    Not many facts are rendered from either testimony.
    Facts – selected, ignored or “alternative” (i.e. unselected ) are important – unless you propose a “(#)PostProofWorld”

  17. NZJester 17

    His testimony about what the meaning of what was written in his yearbook was more telling. He was straight up lying when questioned over the meaning of what was written on the pages of his yearbook.
    He tried to tell them that Boofed referred to flatulence instead of having sex and then there was his trying to explain away Devil’s Triangle as something innocent as well even though at the time it was a well-known phrase for two guys double teaming one girl in a sexual way.

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    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    5 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    5 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    6 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    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 being ...
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    7 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    7 days ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
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