Open Forum Wednesday

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67 Comments

  1. David

     /  13th May 2020

    National label Ardern “Muldoon with slogans” quite witty.

    Reply
    • lurcher1948

       /  13th May 2020

      Most younger New Zealanders would wonder who they were talking about and after finding out then wonder why National was deriding a National party leader,just saying

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  13th May 2020

      And kindness.

      Underneath she is just another cunning socialist. Of course, if I receive helicopter money on Thursday, I may temper my criticism.

      Reply
      • David

         /  13th May 2020

        I am hoping she goes full on socialist in the budget and continues spraying money at her favoured voters and gets obliterated in September.
        Her authoritarian school marmish persona is grating many people and couple that with trying to proscribe mind numbingly restrictive rules will be her undoing. Construction sites have pretty much gone back to normal and most other industries will, if we had a rampant outbreak we would probably comply better.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  13th May 2020

          Tautoko.

          Reply
        • duperez

           /  13th May 2020

          It’s funny how a perceived ‘authoritarian school marmish persona’ is upsetting people. It upsets people that she’s a ‘little girl’ too.

          Ardern may have issues to sort out with the way she presents. I wonder if some of the audience may have mother issues, women school teacher issues or issues with a woman driving the car.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  13th May 2020

            Possibly some do. Doesn’t bother me if they do.
            I’m always interested in analysing my own gut reactions to politicians as people on the one hand, & then my separate intellectual analysis of them as politicians on the other. I’m capable of voting for a good politician I don’t empathise with as a person, based on their manner & mannerisms displayed on video or live.

            Reply
          • Corky

             /  13th May 2020

            Or I wonder if some posters are projecting?

            Reply
      • Gezza

         /  13th May 2020

        If you get helicopter money you could maybe give it to Westpac Rescue or some other flying emergency service, bro. Haven’t you already got a chopper?

        Reply
    • Gezza

       /  13th May 2020

      National label Ardern “Muldoon with slogans” quite witty.

      Do you got a link for that? I think present day Nationalites do look back on the Muldoon years with embarrassment since the Lange/Douglas Labour administration, because with hindsight Muldoon was really something of a socialist.

      Reply
  2. NOEL

     /  13th May 2020

    https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/2/11/21131991/clearview-ai-facial-recognition-database-law-enforcement

    Reports that NZ Po!I’ve trailed without approval.
    Appears the result was that it didn’t add much to the tools they already had.

    Reply
  3. lurcher1948

     /  13th May 2020

    Now that the Chinese are banning Australian meat imports New Zealand should strike why the iron is hot and export,export and export more,and we should quieten Winston down,dont prod the dragon Winston,Tiawan isnt as valuable to us,and the USA doesn’t want us,our death toll in the USA endless wars wasn’t high enough

    Reply
  4. Gezza

     /  13th May 2020

    *”while the iron is hot”, neighbour.

    No need to thank me. Always happy to teach a fellow Wellingtonian a new word.

    Reply
  5. Gezza

     /  13th May 2020

    Looked out the kitchen window half an hour ago to see a very handsome & colourful young kingfisher fly in & perch on a branch of one of the 3 sheoaks on my stream bank.

    A rare & all-too-fleeting visit. I walked smartly but slowly & carefully out into the back yard, hoping to get it on video, but as I approached, & before I could train the cellcam on it, it flew away.

    I’ve lived here next to the stream for more than 14 years. The stream seems healthy & full of lifeforms. But in all that time I’ve only seen a kingfisher here 3 times – including this one. They are very colourful birds.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  13th May 2020

      We see a lot of them sitting up on the powerlines and their call is very distinctive – four identical notes. They breed in burrows – some in banks beside the road near the top of Flagstaff (Te Maiki) Hill.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  13th May 2020

        I spoke to this one, but it remained completely silent. Matter of fact, I was just out at the fence again, looking for some of the small cones the sheoak produces, when it flew back into it, perched briefly, and flew off down the stream, Northwards, again before I could get the cute wee fella on video.

        (Dammit, I’m having trouble concentrating without knowing what Blazer had for breakfast today ! 😠 )

        Reply
        • There are quite a lot around here, their colouring as they fly is exquisite.

          They ask for tea (tea ! tea ! tea ! tea !)

          I think there may be a bellbird or two in the garden again !!! I hear the lovely singing.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  13th May 2020

            I think my other, smaller, more compact pittosporum is a variety of lemonbark. Crushing the leaves produces a faint kind of lemony scent. It’s full of buds; when it flowers that might confirm it.

            Reply
            • The kingfishers have been awol for a few weeks, but are back now. Oh dear, they must think it’s level 2 already.

              I saw a mynah having a bath in the birdbath this morning. As it’s quite shallow, it was a bit like an adult in a paddling pool. It sat down and splashed water over itself as best it could.

            • Gezza

               /  13th May 2020

              Was just out at the stream fence with a coffee a few minutes ago. The flotilla of dux are all having a groom, splash about, & doing their stationary wing flapping to dry off in the water. They’re luck enuf to spend most of their day IN their birdbath.

              There’s a solitary tiwaka flitting about & cheeping in the big pitto.

              I’m back in my lounge & can hear Sweety Pook calling out rather imperiously & insistently “I’m here. Where are you?” from my back lawn.

          • Gezza

             /  13th May 2020

            12.30 pm today. Sweety put on the cute act. She’s remembered. She’s back to taking food from my hand. The only one who’ll do this. Some of the others want to – but they chicken out at the last minute and jump back out of reach.

            Her manners aren’t the best. Just snatches the bread and runs away to eat it. I managed to get a thank you “erk”out of her for the third chunk, after I told her that.

            Reply
            • Ohhhh !!! How well named she is !!! I am pea green with envy,

              The mynah stood on the fence and shook to dry itself; too bad if anyone else happened to be near and not wanting a shower.

            • Gezza

               /  13th May 2020

              You’ll possibly be even greener to hear that this evening the taller of the two pooklings has also started taking bread chunks from my hand, too. He’s quite bold & quite talkative. Kept quietly whimpering, nagging me to go & get them something.

              Aspen II & the smaller pookling were too scared though. They like theirs thrown to them at a safe couple of feet of distance.

  6. Federal district judge Emmet Sullivan has issued an order declining to immediately close the case into Trump’s former NSA Michael Flynn. He writes that “given the current posture of this case,” he expects people will want to file amicus briefs, and he’ll be setting a schedule for that. Sullivan’s order lays out the basis under which he might entertain an amicus:

    – when a party is not represented competently or represented at all (as the government is not)
    – when an amicus has an interest in some other case that may be affected by this one
    – when an amicus has a unique perspective the lawyers in the case cannot offer

    The other thing this means is that this is not done yet, and Sullivan is not going to just dismiss this case.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  13th May 2020

      Seems an invitation to politick that won’t survive an appeal.

      Reply
      • appeal?

        Flynn has already pleaded guilty – twice. It’s up to the court to decide the merit of his argument — no matter who supports it, including a prosecutor who has switched sides.

        The DOJ brought the case against Flynn and won it. The judicial determination is completed. All that remains is for Sullivan to decide what sentence to impose.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  13th May 2020

          It’s obviously headed for an appeal by the defence if they don’t like Sullivan’s determination. And there won’t be any objection to the appeal from the prosecution.

          Reply
    • Pink David

       /  13th May 2020

      “The other thing this means is that this is not done yet, and Sullivan is not going to just dismiss this case.”

      Of course it’s not done. Prosecution and conviction of the architects of this are still to come. Opening the case for amicus briefs simply allows any unknown party to make themselves known. It will be fun to see who sticks their heads up.

      Reply
      • MaureenW

         /  13th May 2020

        The list of those involved with unmasking Flynn has been declassified, should make interesting reading once released.

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  13th May 2020

          I do wonder how many of those names will also be from the Lawfare blog. It’s only a matter of time before their malign interference becomes the focus of an investigation.

          Trump is going to investigate the hell out of them.

          Gitmo is still in operation I believe…..

          Reply
        • It’s an interesting move alright putting the spotlight on the investigators rather than the investigated. It is saying what is irregular here is not the extraordinary contacts with the Russian government but the attempt to understand them.

          Reply
          • Pink David

             /  13th May 2020

            How many of these investigators had any evidence? It seems the moment they were put on oath, there was nothing. No a thing.

            You claim ‘extraordinary contacts’, yet under oath, zero.

            The goal of these investigations was, as a matter of record, to remove Trump from office. If there is not a scrap of evidence, then it starts to look like something that needs an investigation.

            I think the word we are looking at here is treason. The next 4 years with Trump as President is going to be a wild ride.

            Reply
      • The posture of this case is that there has been significant interference in the sentencing of a man who entered a guilty plea 18 months ago and has, several times under oath, acknowledged his guilt. The only task remaining is sentencing.

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  13th May 2020

          You really are funny with your gaslighting Ishmael.

          What crime were the FBI investigating when they interviewed Flynn?

          “entered a guilty plea 18 months ago and has, several times under oath, acknowledged his guilt.”

          While you are at it, you should lock up the Central Park 5 again as well. In fact, the list of innocence people who have pled guilty is rather shocking in the US justice system. But you of course would have them all locked up, and in some cases executed.

          Reply
          • You’d be waiting for the Dummies Guide then …

            Reply
            • Pink David

               /  13th May 2020

              The Central Park 5 pled guilty. Under oath.

              In Ishmaels’ world this means they are guilty forever. This is your standard. Curious.

              Are you a lawyer that plays this gotcha! game Ishmael?

  7. The US projection has just rose to 147,000 Americans dead by August 4th. This thing keeps getting worse by the day, while Trump keeps telling Americans ‘it’s over, we won’. Apparently, they didn’t.

    Reply
  8. The US COVID 19 projection just rose to 147,000 Americans dead by August 4th. This thing keeps getting worse by the day, while Trump keeps telling Americans ‘it’s over, we won’.

    Apparently, they didn’t.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  13th May 2020

      Make a note of that number & today’s date. Report back on 5 August whether they met their target.

      Reply
      • Make a note of this reply and today’s date – do it yourself.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  13th May 2020

          No good, sorry. I’m not as totally obsessed with Trump’s America as you. You’d be the best person for this job.

          Reply
        • Pink David

           /  13th May 2020

          I have a date with Duker on the Swedish numbers 1st of June. I’ll add you to the calendar.

          See you on the 5th Ishmael!

          Reply
        • You are both welcome to hold your breath until then.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  13th May 2020

            What a very unpleasant suggestion.

            Reply
          • Pink David

             /  13th May 2020

            “You are both welcome to hold your breath until then.”

            Amusing. It’s just like recommending people drink bleach.

            Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  13th May 2020

      Do you think that is a better estimate than the 2.2 million US deaths forecast at the beginning of all this, Ishmael? And how do you think it could have been avoided or minimised?

      Reply
      • the early predictions of deaths were all over the place. What is different about this latest prediction is that it coincides with internal Trump administration forecasts predicting a surge in COVID-19 cases killing 3,000 Americans a day by the end of May, up from a current daily toll of under 2,000.

        As for what could have been done differently, where do I start?
        – 70 days of denial and dysfunction
        – dismantling Obama’s pandemic structures and processes
        – throwing out Obama’s pandemic response handbook
        – getting rid of the Federal Pandemic Czar
        – a border closure that wasn’t a border closure
        – inadequate testing and tracking
        – selling off PPE from the federal stockpile to other countries in March and early April
        – social distancing failures
        – idiots like Matt Gaetz trolling the House in a gasmask
        – idiots like Trump touting bleach and sunlight
        and so on. I raised a lot of this two months ago while you were claiming Trump was doing a great job and how few deaths there were in America. All the signs were already there in a kind of crude, real-time performance of the decline of American exceptionalism.

        Much the same criticisms can be made of the UK – the virus has really exposed the withering health of both democracies. You’d think that prosperous countries with strong political freedoms and civil liberties should be able to pull through with their foundations intact and their populations in good health. USA and UK put the lie to that. What cost freedom?

        But to be fair there have also been some things that have been handled well in the States, notably:
        – the bipartisan acknowledgement of fast-track federal funding
        – the research firepower that has emerged in the past four weeks
        – state governor leadership

        The bigger question I think is what can America do next? The virus now appears to be endemic in America and pretty much all that’s left to be done is test, track, and pray for rapid herd immunity to emerge without millions more lives lost while a vaccine is developed.

        Final note of warning: remember that there was no vaccine for SARS and none for MERS…

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  13th May 2020

          “Final note of warning: remember that there was no vaccine for SARS and none for MERS…”

          And we didn’t shut down the global economy.

          Reply
    • FiveThirtyEight are keeping track of six forecasts, which have ranges between 87k and 133k by 30 May.

      https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/covid-forecasts/

      At 83k now and 1000-2500 per day over the last week the low side of those looks low.

      Reply
  9. Pink David

     /  13th May 2020

    Some helpful perspective from Sweden;

    Reply
    • You may not be aware that the chief epidemiologist at Sweden’s public health agency, Anders Tegnell, who has been leading the country’s COVID-19 response and previously defended the nation’s decision not to impose a lockdown, admitted last week he was “not convinced at all” the anti-lockdown strategy was the best option to take.

      I place more faith in the insights from the chief epidemiologist at Sweden’s public health agency than I do in some random wokeman8, who describes lockdown as “state manslaughter”.

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  13th May 2020

        Now that is a spectacular bit of cherry picking. Anders has not change the poliocy to one of lock down now, so when you say he is ‘not convinced at all’, what does that actually mean?

        When we look at actual, real world number, please explain the relationship between a lockdown and a better outcome in terms of deaths;

        https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EX2O9vZWoAE4YqD?format=jpg&name=large

        Reply
      • Pink David

         /  13th May 2020

        Well, I never! Tegnell is talking like someone with good sense, and not a party political hack on a single message narrative.

        “In an interview with the newspaper Aftonbladet, state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said health officials were constantly reviewing evidence on the effectiveness of the strategy.

        “I’m not convinced at all. We are constantly thinking about this… What can we do better and what else can we add on?” Mr Tegnell said.

        “I think the most important thing all the time is to try to do it as well as you can, with the knowledge we have and the tools you have in place. And to be humble all the time because you may have to change.”

        The country has primarily relied on voluntary measures to fight Covid-19, with Swedes asked to keep distance from each other, work from home where possible and avoid travel.”

        Reply
  10. Gezza

     /  13th May 2020

    A leaked email on Friday shone a light on part of the political process usually hidden from the public – spin.

    It can sometimes feel like the Government is just Jacinda Ardern and Ashley Bloomfield atop a writhing horde of public servants.

    After all, it is Ardern and Bloomfield that the public get to see every day at the 1pm press conferences. As she replies to Instagram posts and questions from journalists alike, she can appear to be her own press secretary. She has a degree in communications after all.

    But like all governments there is a deep team behind Ardern helping her shape her message to the public, usually not seen by that very public. They are the ones handling those interview requests and trying to shape how we all see big events, like Thursday’s Budget. These are the people.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300009641/inside-the-spinroom-who-is-who-in-the-governments-pr-team

    Reply
  11. Corky

     /  13th May 2020

    Watched Paul Henry last night. He had a Swedish epidemiologist on who basically said all our Covid-19 measures will eventually be futile.

    As for Henry himself. He offers his insights in this article.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2020/05/13/1169862/paul-henry-no-return-to-paradise

    Quotes:

    “A plan has a start, a process and a goal….not one Minister can articulate what that plan is.’
    Instead, it’s panic and continue to employ as many people as possible. That is not a plan’s arsehole.”

    “Free-to-air is in its dying phase and I’m not just an old man saying that. The fact that the 6pm bulletins are still with us is extraordinary. For more than a decade they haven’t told me anything I didn’t already know. People used to watch the news to find out what was going on but now it’s mostly habit.”

    ”Has the break changed his perspective and would he take 7pm now if MediaWorks decided to replace its high cost and moderately performing Australian format show, The Project?”

    He said he would consider it. Let’s hope. I believe Kanoa and her sidekicks need jobs in the real world – maybe Subways( middleclass/upmarket)?

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  13th May 2020

      They are pretty much unwatchable if you have a delicate stomach. Unless perhaps you prepare by having a lobotomy.

      Reply
      • Paul Henry ditto. He would be a programme killer par excellence.

        Corky’s famed observation hasn’t observed that the firm is Subway, not Subways.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  13th May 2020

          ”Paul Henry ditto. He would be a programme killer par excellence.”

          He’d be a little too exciting for you, Kitty. Who knows, they may resurrect Philip Sherry.

          Check the ratings.

          ‘Corky’s famed observation hasn’t observed that the firm is Subway, not Subways.”

          Stop being a rude ignorant prat. If I want your grammar correction I’ll get a grammar checker.

          Point two – it’s not a firm… it’s a franchise. Please be precise. We aren’t all mind readers.

          Reply

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