The Daily Blog Open Mic – Friday – 20th March 2020


Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.

Moderation rules are more lenient for this section, but try and play nicely.

EDITORS NOTE: – By the way, here’s a list of shit that will get your comment dumped. Sexist language, homophobic language, racist language, anti-muslim hate, transphobic language, Chemtrails, 9/11 truthers, climate deniers, anti-fluoride fanatics, anti-vaxxer lunatics and ANYONE that links to fucking infowar.


  1. An enquiring interview with John Pilger from Theresa May’s time. This is under RT service. 26.41m
    John Pilger Behind the headlines
    RT talks with the legendary journalist and filmmaker John Pilger about the events behind the mainstream media headlines on Syria, Salisbury, Yemen and the Korean peninsula.
    9Interesting to hear him comment on austerity saying it is in all wealthy nations with dropping tax takes and abandoned underclasses. What is going to happen to the underclass and indeed this whole neolib economic
    debacle under the pressure of Covid-19? A soft revolution)

  2. Our chickens are coming home to roost and the hospitals they might need are rotting. The airports are turning them away. We can fix the airport situation with enough determination, services made available, and kindness and I hope that is happening.

    But what about our hospitals run down by the National Party and its twisted mania of austerity plus and who gives a shit about the ordinary people anyway?
    From Insight, 11:14 am today Fri Mar.20/20
    Phil Pennington, Reporter @pjppenn
    Cramped, rotting and risky – the scale of the hospital fix-up revealed
    Insight – The government has put $500m towards boosting health capabilities to tackle the Covid-19 crisis. But the hospitals delivering critical care are themselves in need of urgent assistance.

    Palmerston North’s acting chief medical officer Dr Jeff Brown experiences it daily, when he tells a patient they can’t have their pain-relieving surgery because his seven, 50-year-old theatres – with ceilings so low the operating lights bump surgeons in the head – are already running at 110 percent.

    and yet –
    Decisions that have raised eyebrows include Dunedin getting the first billion-dollar-plus hospital built for more than a decade, ahead of Whangārei, while at the same time Hawke’s Bay DHB is spending $5000 a year on ice blocks to keep staff cool in non-air conditioned wards…

    …Christchurch’s senior doctors.
    “We need urgent and fast-tracked decisions regarding our facilities,” they told the minister in their blunt letter last year.
    “Without this, it is important that you understand that Canterbury DHB will inevitably and dramatically be placed at risk of serious failure.”..

  3. Australia – Sydney Harbour is going to stir toxic sludge on its sea floor laid down over 150 years of industrial and storm water pollutants going into the harbour. Studies show they are as good, or bad, as the worst in the world. The NSW govt doesn’t want anyone else to know, has ‘repressed’ the report.

    I’m old enough to remember the Japanese tragedy, with children being born deformed and mewing like cats.
    It is helpful to have us old memories still alive, and able to pass on cautions and wisdoms to those who have the wit to listen and the soul to care. It’s no small matter to speak out on destructive environmental and health matters. It is gang warfare, with a vengeance; no leather jacket and patches in this one, more likely suits.

    The chemical plant was suspected of being the culprit in the environmental disaster almost from the beginning of the illness outbreak, yet speaking out against the chemical plant was forbidden. The plant was a major employer and enjoyed considerable economic and political clout all the way to the national government.
    The terrible power that uncaring and powerful people in politics and polluting wealthy businesses wield with various weapons, has led to great rifts amongst the workers and the sufferers over the Minimata occurrence and a second one. And strong-arm tactics were used by the company:, against a photographer who supported the victims’ fight.
    Smith and his wife were extremely dedicated to the cause of the victims of Minamata disease, closely documenting their struggle for recognition and right to compensation. Smith was himself attacked and seriously injured by Chisso employees in an incident in Goi, Ichihara city, near Tokyo on January 7, 1972, in an attempt to stop the photographer from further revealing the issue to the world. The 54-year-old Smith survived the attack, but his sight in one eye deteriorated and his health never fully recovered before his death in 1978.

  4. Sam
    We’re closed down on the other site. Presumably we can keep going on a daily basis here. I like talking to someone who wants a good economy and wants to think and discuss how that can be done. There must be a blog where you can carry on a discussion without getting the chop. Do you know one that controls the spoilers that crop up in TS like a…n and others? That is if TDB doesn’t want to host stuff from grassroots philosophers and economists.

    • Have you been given the chop suey on TS @ Grey?
      If so, do you remember this little pearl for which you received a lot of praise:

      “I don’t come to TS to drink tea with my little finger extended. I get information, ideas, feel the pulse of thinking, intelligent people and get chided, encouraged, damned, whatever. People here are exercising their intellect, not just passing time till the End of the Universe.”
      We really are on a war footing eh?

      • Actually OwT I felt disappointed in females talking behind my back, so to speak, finding fault with me on the TS site. I have been writing there for so long, might be a decade? I can’t remember and thinking towards a new and better system of government and citizenship. And not prepared to be swamped and shuttered by any male or female-oriented heightened self-obsessed matter. And that was what the complaint about me was, female-instigated, and they outed me for being a female which I found amazing. In early colonial days brave and outspoken women used pseudonyms to break the male dominated meme of the time.

        I am disgusted with the way we have slid through the 20th century and consider we need to overturn much of our accepted thinking. So I want to have a different level of censorship, (which I am not against to some extent). But entirely free speech is a rotten thing, without personal restraint and reflection. (I got shouted at by a mindless, depraved drunk the other day yelling he wanted to fuck someone. That’s one sort of free speech I hate, that harasses and degrades.)

        When I and others sought compassion for Assange on TS, we might get a posse on our tails. That was another thing that didn’t fit my wish for a future that respected all. I
        can’t see new innovative ideas that fit the good future for young people coming from the societal certainties that seem to pervade there. Robert G has the sort of approach that will enable us to get through our difficulties, but even he gets flak, instead of people asking and finding why he thinks as he does, and arguing from there.

    • That is if TDB doesn’t want to host stuff from grassroots philosophers and economists.

      Grey, Why does the question arise? The only worries about site glitches or whatever would be to do with the coronavirus. That’s what we all have to get through now.

      • Kheala
        The corona virus has just hit us. Those of us who have been discussing politics have been thinking about it for years. This is just one glitch in the present system. I am thinking of far ahead as are many of the political commenters. Our attention isn’t just on The Now. We have to get through now and then think of two months ahead, the election and what sort of capacity crowd will vote and who for, what economic system we can cobble together, what sort of societal culture we can enable, etc. I am afraid that you are only on the bottom rung of the ladder if all you can think about is Covid-19 and now.

  5. Idiot Savant raises some good points:
    “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 weren’t possible suddenly are. Raising benefits. Massively increased government spending. Renationalisations. Overseas, we’re seeing mortgage and rent freezes, and UBI-style fixed payments to keep people’s heads above water.
    The implication is that these things, and others, were always possible, with political will. And that what was stopping them was the reluctance of politicians to do the work and upset the cosy status quo they benefitted from. When this crisis is over, we should remember that.

    And all that is precisely why after a lifetime as a Labour suppota, I have to change my vote at the next election – probably to the ‘namby pamby’ Greens. And that’s also despite thinking JA is one of the best politicians we’ve had in a long long time – and even given the fact I think she may have just realised that some of our neo-liberally minded, careerist, generic managerialist senior public servants are expert in the art of bullshit and jellybeans (not to mention an arrogance, conscious and unconscious racial bias and often colonial attitudes in much of what they do).
    Unfortunately it’s meant that a lot of her political capital has been burnt needlessly.
    Better late than never though eh? Comes a time when principles, morality and ethics have to mean something, and that they’re far more important than some inept senior public servants’ egos.
    Hopefully there’ll be another term that sees her in power, but if not – we get what we deserve.
    I just hope there’s a plan after the 2020 election that recognises the need for some serious reform and that she’ll have come to learn where the roadblocks are, who are the arseholes (often dressed up as some of the nicest used car or real estate salespeople you’ll ever meet), and not to make promises of transformation and kindness if you can’t deliver. Suddenly, it’s a different Whurl

    • OwT I find your comment very insightful and hope like you that the gates don’t close when the worst is over with most of us left outside, and only the tech machines having airconditioning because they need it, and none for us even if we also need it.
      About PM Ardern, isn’t it good that she is up there as an example of what being a decent human being can look like and act like.
      A lot of the old fairy tales are metaphors, analogies, moral tales in disguise. What about the Leader of the Opposition as the Pied Piper of Hamelin, blowing his trumpet and attracting crowds to his raucous performance, leading them on through the present opening in the political bank of promises, and when the allowed elite are through, the entrance closes up again. This leaves the rest of the ordinary villagers looking at each other wondering about the future.
      It seems that we ordinary villagers have difficulty using our imagination to capture the meaning of the happenings we see and hear about. Fairy tales all of us older people know (pre Walt Disney’s morphing into candy floss and pouty pwincesses) so perhaps the storytellers of old Europe can give us a guide. Maori will have some good ones too I am sure. Perhaps someone can put up their wisdoms. They would have some like Confucius and Sun Tzu (both 6th century BCE), the wise General, about preparing for challenges.

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